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Return to the Deck by DennyCroft

BlackWolfTR 6 6 7 6
DJ Full 8 8 7 8
eRIC 7 6 6 5
Jose 3 6 7 8
manarch2 5 5 5 5
Phil 9 8 8 7
Ryan 7 7 7 6
Samu 6 7 7 7
release date: 27-Jun-2021
# of downloads: 119

average rating: 6.56
review count: 8
review this level

file size: 109.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Ship

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"A fun level but it would be so much better with working sounds and without completely unlit parts. Also - unlikely, but possible - if you drop the block before taking the star, you're doomed. Still, I'm gonna recommend this one. It felt nice to be here." - DJ Full (04-Mar-2023)
"This level has a good design, with a good architecture and texturization, but some areas are too dark and I found very few flares, not enough for properly exploration. The objects are well placed too, and the cameras work good, but the gameplay is very bad; too non lineal I was often finding dead ends and receptacles for items I never found, to find an item you are forced to explore almost the whole level, and when you find it again explore the whole level to find the next one. Even more, the last diagonal jump with the rope to the opening in the hull of the ship was too hard for me and I decided to abandone at that point. Bad, bad." - Jose (04-Apr-2022)
"This game is visually heavily inspired by “The Deck” and “Living Quarters” levels from TR2. Gameplay is different though and involves finding several items and using them elsewhere. On your way, you have to complete many basic jumps, push/pull some boxes to gain access to switches or new areas, and fight against frequently appearing crocodiles and some other enemies. Even though gameplay is not bad by any means, I felt that it would have benefitted from more original tasks. For example, some of the basic jumps could have been spiced up with inventive use of traps, and more elaborate puzzles could have been also added. Author included five secrets and the search for them was really fun. There are some minor issues regarding sound effects and music. For example, the door opening sound is the same sound you hear when a Tinnos wasp from TR3 dies. In addition, all the music will play every time you step on the tiles, which trigger them. Although the areas in the game are not direct copies from TR2 levels, the overall structure of the areas is heavily similar. This is okay but I would have liked to see more author’s own unique design because it would have made the gaming experience more interesting at least for me, and building areas completely from your own imagination is also more creative, which I appreciate. Taken together, this is a nice level, which is definitely worth checking if you like Maria Doria-type levels that will give classical vibes to player." - Samu (19-Sep-2021)
"What a strangely mixed experience this level was. It's definitely a solid and ambitious effort (particularly for a first offering), but unfortunately there were a few too many aggravations here to score this any higher (and believe me, I wanted to). The gameplay undoubtedly has its enjoyable moments, with some nice trap sequences and enemy action as well as the fact that there's a lot of exploration to immerse yourself into, but the downers in this category are the preponderance of cheap broken glass pits scattered around which gave me no end of trouble, the backtracking up and down the various decks and the rather too tricky rope swing to reach presumably the ship's hull. The texturing and design is also on the somewhat ragged side, although the atmosphere still manages to come across in a charming way and I liked the hiding places of the secrets. Definitely worth a play, but do bring some patience along." - Ryan (28-Jul-2021)
"I have some extended comments to make about this level, on several different subjects. For an apparently maiden voyage it's quite a remarkable effort. I would compare it favorably with Kitten Adventure, for no other reason than that both levels are recent releases and are fresh in my mind. I feel that both levels reflect about the same degree of creative thought and execution and to that extent are equally praiseworthy. However, where Return to the Deck falls woefully short is in its dark and drab surroundings, which greatly reduce that intangible "fun factor" that's not officially a part of our rating system. The builder released an unannounced revision (after two video walks had already been posted) which makes some substantial changes. There are now five secrets instead of four. The laser sight is no longer provided and was not needed to finish the game in any event. On the negative side, a quick way of reaching an upper deck (which needs to be done multiple times) has been prevented, forcing the player to take a longer and more difficult route to get there. And curiously, the builder has failed to correct a typo in one of the pickup names (the "Elettrical" Gear). Although both video walks completed glitch-free runs in less than an hour, I spent nearly three hours here while writing a walkthrough and doing my best to capture all the many nuances (hidden traps, etc.) facing the player along the way. Perhaps the most serious drawback in my opinion is the excessive backtracking that's required of the player, but once you've done it a few times it becomes almost second nature. Enemies are relatively few, especially in the later stages, so the fact that ammo pickups (none for the automatic pistol that I could find) were also scarce doesn't become an issue. In sum, my scores are high because I feel the level deserves them. I simply take this occasion to repeat my pet peeve about level revisions being uploaded without warning and after video (and sometimes written) walks have been prepared for the initial release. Builders, please stop doing that." - Phil (26-Jul-2021)
"A game where the difficulty does not really come from hard jumps or traps or puzzles but from an IMO wrong approach - omnipresent gloominess and confusing environments make it rather hard to get oriented, especially in a game as non linear as this one. There are undoubtedly good and enjoyable parts of this game, but I found this to be rather tedious to work through. There are the occasional beginner mistakes like oddly placed objects, deformed textures and strange sounds, but the design is solid nevertheless, save for the darkness. Enemies are not so well chosen and placed, the secrets are decently hidden though. Perhaps with a bit more focus in gameplay and environments that are more easy on the eyes next time and the builder can do much better next time. Finished just a few seconds above the hour mark." - manarch2 (03-Jul-2021)
"For a debut, this ship themed level it's quite good. Gameplay was sometimes repetetive but author offered us also some good ideas like for example pushable puzzles and other tasks different than pulling levers to open a doors. As about enemies, I think that crocodiles do not really fit into ship environment. Some of enemies could have been more effectively placed. Atmosphere was pretty good but it could be better with more diverse lighting using more colors. As about textures, it's okay but with many problems. There were many wallpapered walls, shrinked and disformed textures. There were also some issues with sounds for example I think that sound of opening door is very weird. I found some missing sounds too. Overally, despite some errors, it's still pretty good debut level with some good ideas and quite good atmosphere. Author has definetly a potential for creating bigger and better levels. I can recommend it. Looking forward for next releases of this new author!" - BlackWolfTR (02-Jul-2021)
"Not a remake of the official Deck level although the general concept is of course inspired by it. It's like a big puzzle, exploring caves , wrecks and decks to retrieve some artefacts or reach new places, and it's a bit confusing as some part of what you do and some key items found are only for a secret, and you can't discern that. Also sometimes cameras show a door opening but the camera is too near from the target and that is not too much helpful. The gameplay focus is on spotting important things for later as there is much backtracking and redoings more or less mandatory. Nevertheless the interest is there : beating the game while making progress and some gameplay elements are interesting. No timed tasks, but a couple of jumps are a bit challenging and also a rope swing needs a few attempts to get it right. Imo there is too much of glass shards scattered around, with a few forced health loss even if you do things right. Aside from the lack of shortcuts the main problem with the level for a better enjoyment is the lighting , sometimes totally not worked on , sometimes with strong shadows to the point that objects like movable blocks or Lara herself look black. In some rooms, Lara appears in 3D illuminated from below , the builder has probably placed the sun bulbs on the floors, it's a nice effect but a bit strange. A few details to be noticed : wrong sfx for the doors and for the rats , wrong animation for the buttons , some missing textures and other textures errors , the sharks got stuck (the builder did not allow them to go farther) so shooting them with the harpoon was a piece of cake, on the opposite the use of the couple of piranhas is well mastered. Globally an interesting raid even if not polished enough. 1h56 - 3/4 secrets" - eRIC (29-Jun-2021)