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ORC21 - The Tower by Nanaki Azakee

Adrian 5 6 7 8
BlackWolfTR 10 10 10 10
dinne 6 7 8 9
DJ Full 9 9 10 8
DroneQuadcopter 10 10 10 10
eRIC 8 9 10 9
Feats 10 10 10 10
Jay 8 9 10 10
JimmyBeon 10 9 10 9
Jorge22 8 9 9 8
Jose 7 8 9 9
manarch2 7 8 9 8
Mehrbod 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
MigMarado 8 9 10 10
Mman 8 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 8 9 8
Ryan 8 9 10 9
Spyglass 5 5 8 8
Torry 5 7 7 4
Zolee 10 10 10 10
Zuxuna 9 9 10 10
release date: 10-Apr-2021
# of downloads: 184

average rating: 8.67
review count: 22
review this level

file size: 105.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Alien/Space

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This is an odd level and I have played some odd levels in the past but this one was strange. First off the damned fog was so annoying I nearly trashed this after five minutes of game play. The voice overs were weird and really just detracted from the story line and even Saki Croft voicing Lara was, well Saki needs to practice her English accent. (I do love her video walk throughs though). Some of the enemies were neat but some of the underwater sequences were tedious with the traps in them. I did try to get to all four endings but gave up." - Torry (24-Oct-2022)
"Yet another One Room Challenge Level Review from Feats here haha! This level concept does seem to rub me up the right way and the standard of building on display in this level is top notch. I liked the fact there is 2 game modes for those who want the story and those who just want to play the game, a nice touch. Level is nicely designed with not too challenging segments and enemy encounters are kept to a minimum as to promote exploration of the level. I would recommend playing story mode as I found the story to be engaging and with a healthy dose of humour. Another thing I found hilarious is when I decided to cheat while doing a block puzzle it killed Lara while saying "No Cheating!" that really did make me chuckle and also a nice feature! Would definitely recommend this level anyways I had a blast!" - Feats (28-Sep-2022)
"I must say that for a ORC I'm really impressed about how much the builder could pack into less than 4 rooms. Nanaki did a really good job within the constraints of the challenge. BUT some things bothered me. I know this is an alien world, and it has a different atmosphere than ours, but the fog was just too intense, it felt more like a desert than an alien world. The lighting was excellent and the textures as well, even tough some objects didn't feel like they belonged together (I'm looking at you, blue high-tech doors and ancient torches). The Underwater section was painful to me, don't get me wrong, but Lara's movement were never good to swim in tight environments filled with traps that require you to act with caution. Also, some objects had collisions that got in the way A LOT, and it's just frustrating (take this with a grain of salt since I don't know it's the Engine fault). The secrets were okay, but I don't really feel like finding a secret that's on the linear way that I'm supposed to take. Also, there's one secret (in a pool area) that's not accessible once you turn off the traps, and you can't deactivate the switch (in my playthrough the switch was gone??). I don't really like having to decide either to get a secret or to pass through underwater traps that make me die and reload a lot. But I did like the endings! I got Ending B and was surprised, was not expecting that. Some jokes and lines in the dialogues were cheesy, but I can handle that. Anyway, it's great to see more TRLE levels that focus on story and innovate. Even with its perks, it still a good level worth playing. Just please rethink about underwater traps, they can be painful to pass through." - Spyglass (13-Oct-2021)
"I don't usually play One Room Challenge levels, but this entry is something very different. In the first place, it is worth noting that the player has spent so much time on fine-tuning environmental lighting around the map, which for one, plays a key role in encouraging the players to continue to the end of the adventure. A lot of reviewers might have complained about the endings, but I personally believe that even designing 4 different paths for a short ORC to be finished is something that a lot of us are not capable of doing it. Thumbs up for this level and thank you for this unique experience. Thank you!" - Mehrbod (03-Oct-2021)
"The design and the texturization of this level is very very good; there's also a big effort with the history and the on-screen texts and voices. The gameplay is not bad, with some fresh ideas; the guns and ammo are enough, but I missed more variety of enemies; the secrets... are hard to find, and I only could find two, perhaps because the different endings (I finished with the "B" ending); correct sounds and cameras, I think the lighting is not much worked. Not a level I've specially enjoyed, but a very solid and interesting level to take a try." - Jose (26-Sep-2021)
"The textures were good and nicely suited the setting of the level, but the foggy atmosphere was unnecessarily dense. There were a number of bugs which could be confusing. Puzzles were straightforward when they worked. Secrets were easy. I didn't care for the 4 endings which didn't make much logical sense, nor did including the final two secrets in this odd gameplay. The spoken narrative was not as hip or funny to me as it apparently was to the builder. Perhaps take a leaf out of Loch's recent lol monastery effort. A lot of doors never opened and I was left with a feeling that it could have been so much more." - Adrian (22-Sep-2021)
"This has a Back to Basics Space theme. It makes good use of the assets, with a convincing base area and natural caves around it. The lighting and texturing is strong, with convincing areas and a decent amount of visual variety (and also instructive to puzzles at times). There's also a lot of scripting and a story that's executed well, although there's a few strange sentences that give me the feeling it's not written by a native English speaker, and a look-over by someone who did could have improved some of the text a bit, although it's still perfectly readable. The gameplay has a good mix of challenges and makes some room to explore too, with a general good use of the small space it's built into. The general tasks aren't too challenging but there are some tricky underwater traps to get past. One shootable puzzle near the start is bugged so if you attempt it multiple times you get stuck, but at least it's not very far into the level so restarting isn't much of an issue. There are multiple endings, and each of them unlocks some bonus material in the files that provides some "making of" and further details of what's happening, which is nice. I was a little disappointed that probably the hardest ending (which requires all the secrets, and a couple are easy to block off) was nearly the same as the "worst" in terms of actual interaction. A great entry with a good mix of gameplay and story, although the gameplay isn't quite as strong as the best I've played in this contest so far." - Mman (22-Aug-2021)
"I took the story version. Behind the looks of a regular Tomb Raider alien adventure, this one does have the original touch - sadly, all four possible endings aren't happy endings. I started out by simply getting shot in the dark when I thought I was being rescued. Lara can also explode, become an assassin, plus something else I now forgot. It's an experiment and an experience, one which I enjoyed, to be honest (not so much the inexcapable sad endings). The textures aren't always perfect, but everything looks good, and there are lots of twists and turns, relatively challenging passages and enigmas. I liked how Lara could sustain her breath indefinitely underwater (she couldn't have done it otherwise), and the small puzzles were interesting. In spite of the foggy atmosphere, I found the level to be generally on the luminous side. Nice, perhaps not for everyone." - Jorge22 (12-Jun-2021)
"This is an intriguing debut and more of concept level of sorts and I enjoyed it a lot. Essentiallly you make your way through three different challenges and the respective connecting rooms. None of the challenges are too difficult really - a timed run/shoot, a puzzle with 5 buttons and another one with levers and torches, but the way it is set up with the story telling in between works really nicely for the immersion into the game. Very well done. I thought that the underwater traps could have been a few less as they are more tedious than challenging, but that was a minor gripe. Great addtion with the secrets, espeically the last two at the end, which treats you to another quick timed run and a nice torch puzzle. So, overall, it lasted 50+ minutes for me (as I did try out all the four endings) and it is a must play for being something a little different..." - MichaelP (27-May-2021)
"The biggest story of the entire ORC, but with endings up to interpretation, which can only work if there's enough data to interpret them from - so I'm waiting for the full game which might provide such data. For now, I had a feeling every ending was quite confusing. Issues like controls off during cutscenes, wrong fog and making choices you're unaware of, I already discussed with the builder during the beta and release stream, so don't worry if there's not enough written here - he knows. Aside of that, I really vote for the professional overlay of this level. Voiceovers, credits in the title, subtitles, even pictures in nicely formatted readme, are all the extra effort which we normally can only dream of getting. Again, this makes me look forward to the full game. Good job." - DJ Full (17-May-2021)
"A very fancy debut level, but too ambitious compared to the result. The level is bloated of bonus elements and it's clear the builder wanted to offer an original adventure filled of "surprises" and replayability but this went at the expenses of basic gameplay aspects. Also, nonetheless, half of the enjoyment is cut off if you're a random player willing to follow the story but who doesn't know the people mentioned in, that only adds a lot of extra elements that tax the player with names to remember (purposelessly), while is already struggling with a huge story to remember. Mainly, this looks like a tribute to the author's friends first of all, then a level for all the players later. I have to give a critique about the bad storytelling anyway (that won't influence much the rating): even though I'm not a fan of story-driven games, I've read all the readme and followed the story through the game, but it's confusing for a number of reasons, especially for the Commander, who has a very unclear role. In one ending, he kills Lara unexpectedly for no reason, not even letting the player suspect earlier that he was an ambiguous character, so for me this ending was non-sense. I had to replay the first cutscene to notice a side note where it's told that you might understand who is behind all the evil plans if Lara gets killed, but this didn't really seem to be a relevant info. In another ending, the Commander is safe, gets back to the base, and Zakee apparently knows him already, so I assume he was already monitored and the goal was also to rescue him too. How comes he was behind everything, then? In another ending more, she kills the Commander, without having any apparent suspect about him, and feels like she is just a psychopath having a demonic possession. The problem is all the endings have the potential to create a full different background that affects all the story from the start while it's not developed on any solid basis yet, and probably such an ambitious story should have got much more space and contextualization (not an ORC level) to host 4 endings in a coherent/understandable way, + the wanted plot twist surprising effect (failed here). I watched the other endings because I wasn't going to replay the level multiple times (and a level shouldn't be required to be played multiple times to understand at least the core of the story), but even so, the story stays unclear. Even, the readme mentions somewhere that with the names of the endings you can get access to more dossiers to clarify the story (where to access that? I didn't see any input in the game, or link elsewhere), and this is just tapefixing a bad storytelling. In the end Lara doesn't even enter in the central tower, that looked to be the goal of the adventure, and it feels pretty much disappointing to not see what she is going to discover there. Even more with the Quick version without story, it gets even more confusing to end the game abruptly like that and gifts no satisfaction. Gameplay-wise, the level has a similar problem as the story: because of this bloat of bonus elements, the steps to access the secrets are not hidden at all and they look like progression steps, which is both disorienting and disappointing when you find out it was all for a secret. And mentioning secrets, the first one is just a "passive aggressive" hit, to be honest, has no fun and doesn't even "measure" the player's focus ability, neither rewards him. It's just a bad prank to force the player running around endlessly to find this last unaccessible secret, then oh, having to restart the whole game (guess what the player will do). The level has also some gameplay tapefixing moments that look like intended gameplay steps to look for, but in the end are just ways to block the player from doing certain things to not skip something, instead of reworking the geometry (lever for the raisingblock that won't work until the end even if you can pull it; fire that won't lit the torches; unaccessible area from a raised block near the bell and others), and a useless revolver+lasersight because easily skippable with pistols, even unintentionally (while if used from inside the bell pit, it voids instead the purpose of the timed quest). There is also a solution-before-the-puzzle moment when you get a key and find the keyhole just after it. And then we have 2 important technical issues: one softlock in the area of the bell because of an unpolished lever trigger and one in the area of the 5 buttons that can set Lara on flames. The whole adventure is also crippled by the absence of camera hints, that gifts many headless-chicken running moments (stealing this idiom from Dj). If we undress all the game from all the secrets-related gameplay steps and the multiple endings ones, we get a short linear basic gameplay with the usual common elements, which is surely ok but can't be "exciting" really... About appearence, texturing is perfect, objects tint and placement too. The only serious issue is the fog range, that yes, can give the atmosphere of a very saturated air, but harms the playability and is annoying all the time. In short: big ambitions, disorganized execution, pretty location. My "real" ratings would be 6.8 in gameplay and 8.5 in aesthetics, so I arranged the ratings here trying to adapt it to give anyway around 7.5 as average." - dinne (15-May-2021)
"This is a most assured debut effort and were it not for a couple of odd design choices and things I personally didn't like, I would have definitely rated it higher. First things first, the eerie, desolate atmosphere is incredibly gripping, texturing is undoubtedly of the highest standard and the gameplay is engaging and thought-provoking throughout (loved the torch-triggering lever puzzle and the whole concept of dropping four boulders around the central tower). What somewhat put a dampener on proceedings were: the omnipresent fog in the outside area that majorly obscured my sightline, the frustratingly enigmatic button puzzle (even with the detailed hint) that had me running off to Doggett's video walkthrough and the somewhat dicey setup of the various endings. Two were too abrupt, one was a little too downbeat and one required you to explore around for secrets to trigger properly. This one was admittedly a neat ending, but it seems a little harsh that you completely miss out on it just because you didn't explore enough. Overall though, definitely a decent raid." - Ryan (09-May-2021)
"This, in contrary, is a really magnificent work and far more than you might expect from an ORC level. Gameplaywise rather easy and perhaps relying too much on the same kind of traps being repeated, but the diversity and a lot of care for the storyline made this quite interesting. Maybe the builder could've done a little less with respect to the various endings, because replaying some or, in case you haven't got the first secrets, huge parts of the game is not too great but I still liked the idea. The setting is quite atmospheric with the huge titular tower you never actually get to explore (due to the limitations of the contest). The omnipresent fog and the textures somewhat make this look a little less good than it could be, but otherwise texturing is quite competent, with barely any mistakes. There are a few problems with objects like invisible blocks in front of doors (in one case the doors could be turned, in the other maybe two doors could be used?) and objects from underwater appearing in the upper room, but these were minor things in an otherwise quite well put together and technically high standard game. The longest version took me 25 minutes to complete." - manarch2 (02-May-2021)
"This is an accomplished debut level in many ways and I did enjoy the amusingly quirky dialogue and the effective and atmospheric alien environment. Gameplay is nicely balanced and there are some fun traps and giant hairy caterpillars to contend with. It’s a work of great imagination and the various endings aspect may not be to everyone’s taste but overall I was really impressed with this and can’t wait to see what the builder comes up with next." - Jay (28-Apr-2021)
"Despite the thing that I am not fond of space/futuristic levels, I really have enjoyed this one. The gameplay is perfectly balanced between platforming and puzzle solving, action has been kept back a little, which is a huge plus from me as I don't like to have tons of enemies (especially if they are repulsive ones like these giant centipides :-D). The objects were pretty well chosen, they didn't stand out of place. I especially loved the use of different colorful flowers and plants which are really made a nice area to look at. The secrets were absolutely well hidden, they were not too easy but not too hard to find either. The atmoshphere was stunning, that warm sandy fog was a pretty good choice! The geometry and room design were also very good. I liked the sounds and cameras aswell, the voice lines and storytelling really made this level unique. Texturing and lighting is flawless, could't find any badly rotated texture or lighting that didn't fit your room or objects. So overall this level is a masterpiece! ;-) Congratulations for your first level ever, you did a really great job! Keep them coming!" - Zolee (19-Apr-2021)
"Impressive level in many respects , with great objects and atmosphere and several possible endings. I chose the version with storyline of course , the builder has a good sense of humour. Not many enemies and a few traps and puzzles. A thing that may not have worked as it should as i found no use to the timed run. Great setting , but a few objects are seen from other areas , not enough thickness between some areas. And for my particular liking i am not fond of fogs this ruined a bit the vistas for me and a few times the next step to proceed was not clear after you have achieved something. But anyway a must play as this is something quite unique like being on another planet." - eRIC (18-Apr-2021)
"I thoroughly agree with MigMarado's review comments;but I shall add to them: in addition to the spiteful "You're not good enough!" ending (made all the worse for having dutifully overcome all the puzzles and challenges on the path I chose to follow) ,I also experienced a crippling game-halting bug at the very start,with a non-materialising 'bell object' which was vital for progression;and several instances when the game completely froze,requiring me to force a halt via Task Manager. Several unopened doors,torches and unlit sconces remained - presumably intending to tempt the player to go through it ALL again for a possibly more rewarding ending the second time around;but the prospect,I have to admit,didn't hold much appeal. The lighting in the hub area was far too hazy,making it difficult to perceive the surroundings;and the 4 switch puzzle seemed entirely random. On the plus side,the earlier 'switch conundrum' was entertainingly conceived;the voice acting and plotting was endearing;and many of the physical tasks and challenges were creative. The textures,objects and atmosphere were all way above par;and the level was undeniably a great showcase for the builders creative and imaginative potential. A mis-judged central concept,combined with a buggy initial release,did it no favours though." - Orbit Dream (17-Apr-2021)
"I really enjoyed this level until the ending I got... The storyline is funny and very compelling! Nanaki should keep that up, alongside the incredible atmosphere. Still, all good endings are reserved for completists, for people willing too try everything to get to those endings. I think that is not good storytelling. If it had something to do with pure choice, I would be rejoiced, but this is an unjustified over-extension of gameplay that does not do the level any favors. In future, I recommend Nanaki give less emphasis on secrets and secret endings. The "regular" ending shouldn't feel like punishment, it should be at least a neutral ending. Stories are good when their ending is satisfying (even if negative, it should relate to what you already know). Otherwise, the level was great! Congratulations on an amazing debut. I'm sure you'll gift a lot of gems to this community. Thank you!" - MigMarado (15-Apr-2021)
"I was expecting something different. I was sceptic about the dubbing of the level because we are not able to reach the high quality of the audio easily. My expectation turned into amazement. Puzzles were interesting by their originality, even if it was something old, it was something new as well. Old puzzles with interesting twists and ideas, and I like it, there is nothing I can remove points for. Only a few enemies on the level, nothing terrible, and I was glad. I like the idea of a puzzle-based level rather than an enemy base in this case. There is nothing worse than if the author does not understand his own level. Fortunately, this is not the case because the enemies were at an appropriate level according to the theme and story of the level. Objects and secrets were amazingly designed as well and I would just repeat myself, it was in a decent amount, not a lot of them, not a few, it was the proper amount. The atmosphere and stuff, I liked, the story and the space that was allowed for building such a level. It was amazing that the author managed to build such a beautiful level into so close space. I liked the story and everything linked with that. There I must mention the bonus point for using dubbing. This was an amazing surprise. I like that and this will affect the final score. Sounds and ambients of the level were done the best way possible and I have nothing to take points down for, except for one, but about that later on. Lights and textures were done so effective way, that it well supported the idea of the level. I hated only one, the fog in the outer parts began to be a little bit annoying, but even if I would take one point for this, I would give back another point for that mentioned dabbing so still with full score. In the end, I must go with a full score there, there is nothing that could not be done a better way. 10 / 10 And I did not mention the best of the best, level has 4 endings, good luck." - DroneQuadcopter (12-Apr-2021)
"Very wonderful, space themed orc level with usage of BTB2018 objects. Gameplay was very good and interesting even with fact that it was created in one room. Idea of four different endings is very creative and makes player hungry to see them all. Overall story was also very interesting. I really loved how author used much btb2018 objects to decorate level. I always thought there were to little custom levels with usage of them. Atmosphere and lighting were just beautiful and made their work perfectly. I highly recommend this level, great job Nanaki!" - BlackWolfTR (11-Apr-2021)
"Was very impressed by this level. The theme and story is superb, and the way how its woven into the puzzles and endings and even the little secrets to do with how the game unlocks information is also very good. The textures were great, the space atmosphere was great and the items were interesting. The puzzles were fair, the traps had a bit of difficulty avoiding damage, but even the classics had this problem so i wont be judging it too harshly. Gameplay was on point and the puzzles added a similar challenge to the classic games so for me i was pleased and never felt like i was doing something wrong so all in all a very pleasant experience." - JimmyBeon (11-Apr-2021)
"-Gameplay and Puzzles : A good variety of platforming and puzzles on this one . Main focus is to activate the three central spheres. There is also a timed run and a well executed riddle puzzle near the end of the level . (Gameplay was roughly 40 minutes) -Enemies, Objects and Cameras : A few enemies were found, all part of the BtB Space package . They added to the atmosphere and storytelling of the level. Secrets where well thought out, not unfair to obtain in any way. -Atmosphere, sounds and Cameras : Right off the bat I really enjoyed the it. Area looks humid yet hot with the subtle fog, good pops of color here and there with plants and crystals, ambient was subtle and effective at certain jumpscare attempts. Camera work was good aswell, at times indicating where to look at and help progress faster. I also appreciate the addition of two versions of the game. One including the story and one without . I chose to play with the story and I really enjoyed it (bonus for humorous remarks added) -Lighting and Textures : Everything looked well crafted and made sense . Great level overall, keep it up! Recommended for everyone." - Zuxuna (10-Apr-2021)