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TR Advent Calendar 2021 - Another Winter Castle by AgentXP dinne DJ Full Dreamfall Jesus C.Croft LoreRaider Matie shabaobab Sponge

Adrian 10 10 10 10
AgentCroft77 10 10 10 10
billie2001 10 10 10 10
CalrOsario 10 10 10 10
DecimaDragonoid 10 9 10 10
Dick 9 10 10 10
eRIC 10 10 10 10
Feats 9 9 10 10
JesseG 9 10 10 10
John 8 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Kubsy 10 10 10 10
Lady_Wise 9 10 10 10
Lima 8 10 10 9
Lioness_86 10 10 10 10
Lorax 10 10 10 10
manarch2 9 10 10 10
MedievalMetal 7 10 10 10
nad 10 10 10 10
Nillc 10 10 10 10
Obig 10 10 10 10
Petaludas 10 9 9 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Raider278 10 10 10 10
Raq 9 10 10 10
requiemsoul 10 10 10 9
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Saki Croft 10 10 10 10
tuxraider 8 8 9 8
release date: 24-Jan-2022
# of downloads: 602

average rating: 9.78
review count: 29
review this level

file size: 189.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I have to say I was amazed by the level for me this is the perfect level in every way the combat is not too easy but not too hard either the lighting and texturing were very carefully done the ambiance is very realistic and the cutscenes are a wonderful touch overall this is a 10/10 for sure , if you want to play one of the best level on the site this is the one for you!" - AgentCroft77 (01-Aug-2023)
"this one is a masterpiece. 10/10 its almost like a little openworld to explore sometimes its hard to find out what doing next but its absolutely worth it. a must play for all raiders" - Raider278 (27-Jun-2023)
"The game is the result of a partnership between several developers and it is quite clear this is a MUST PLAY!!! It deserves the highest ratings for pushing all standards to the limit, even consindering for standards the best of the best custom levels released so far. Everything is perfect and outstanding!! It's an almost unique gaming experience with new and fresh ideas. Intelligent structure, with spaces designed in a unique and stunning environment. The graphics are incredibly beautiful. The castle and its surroundings are breathtaking with stunning realism. The puzzles, most of them, are original, and although accessible, the needed reflection process makes them extremely pleasant. My playing time exceeded six hours, (I had to go back several times as I discovered that something was missing). The torch to melt the ice was one of them!! Great idea! I loved the lamp puzzle, the paintings puzzle, the shatetredd fairies, and so many more things like Armand Hints, the speeches, the voices, the music and cinematics... The lions and mirrors battle is quite entertaining!! For sure Hall of Fame!! Highly recommended (40/40)!" - CalrOsario (08-Jan-2023)
"In this holiday level Lara explores a very, very large castle to collect armor pieces, find a magical mirror, and put an evil witch in her place. This level bucks against the stereotype of laid-back holiday gameplay by providing a fair amount of combat, including two boss fights, but exploration and puzzles still take the bulk of the gameplay time. There were quite a few enjoyable moments such as the illuminated graveyard crosses, the switch puzzle with the knights, and the puzzle with the color pads. The puzzle with the picture frame switches I had mixed feelings about, it was a neat idea but it can be a little hard to pick up on where to start with it. I also liked the timed runs, not too difficult but just enough to break things up with an adrenaline boost. As for the things I could have done without, one is the strange shooting target in the flooded crypt area. Lara only has the pistols at this point, and there are two targets that are straightforward enough to shoot at, but an elusive third one I only got after many tries of taking a curved running jump while mashing the action key. Turns out the solution in the walkthrough is even more bizarre, as apparently the pistols can somehow shoot through the solid column that stands in the way of the target. The portable torch was both more and less convenient than the conventional one, as Lara is able to whip it out of her inventory whenever she wants, but it disappears into thin air when disposed. That means if the player brings the torch somewhere but wants to grab a pickup or shoot a barrier they'll have to dispose the torch first and go re-ignite it later. This lends itself to more backtracking, which is already a bit of an issue in this level, not too surprising given its size. Thankfully the layout of the level isn't too complicated and I could usually remember what direction to head in. The last downside to point out is the save/load bugs in both of the boss fights - one against the demonic lion and the other against the evil witch herself. The latter is noted as a warning but the former wasn't, and I had to go back a couple saves when I realized I was shattering the same mirror repeatedly and not progressing. This level was highly immersive - I appreciated the charming cutscenes, giving the player moments to chuckle at and moments to rekindle the holiday spirit, as well as some "wow' moments with some of the special effects used. The visuals are top-notch and I appreciated the extra details like the fiery witch face in one of the cavers. An outstanding job as always with these collaborative holiday levels. 4 hours 1 minute." - JesseG (05-Jan-2023)
"I'm gonna say right off the bat this level has similarities to Dark Souls 1, in that its a flawed masterpiece. So many good things to say about this level... It looks astounding, for the most part it was loads of fun to play, the cutscenes were well built and complemented a pretty epic story. Honestly one of the best stories I've encountered while playing TRLE's! I loved having the Priest giving hints, it was a really nice touch! The amount of work put into this level was clear to see and is immensely impressive! Which is why it pains me to say there were some parts I really didn't care for and unlike Dark Souls it was the boss fights. While the ideas for them were really clever the implementation was lacking in my opinion. The Lion Boss I absolutely detested! Purely because of the weakness of the elusive Crossbow.. I must have hit that aerial mirror a thousand times but because I either didn't hit it just right or the bolts I was given weren't striking it with enough force. I don't know which it is...? A simple fix would have been to add some explosive bolts for that fight, the crossbow is next to useless without them! I also had issues with the final boss, while visually impressive and quite a decent fight actually, it was spoiled by the fact I encountered the Horseman Bug where it gets back on the horse and has its HP replenished to 11x the HP. But please don't let my saltiness get in the way of playing it, the pluses far outweigh the negatives! I would still definitely recommend the level even with the perceived flaws. Thank you for all the hard work that went into it!" - Feats (15-Dec-2022)
"Terrible title, great level. So good in fact, I'd place it in my all-time top five. Visually, it's probably the best I've ever played: from the snowy woodlands, through the complex castle exterior to the sumptuous castle interior, this is staggeringly good. Wonderful special effects enhance the visuals still further. There is about 5 hours of gameplay here and for me at least 4-and-a-half hours were brilliant: fun, inventive and doable - just. The other half hour was opaque and somewhat arcane. For that reason I reluctantly dock one mark." - Dick (12-Dec-2022)
"With an interesting and engaging story set at night around the icy wilderness and the insides of a huge haunted castle this level gets off to a great start as you immerse yourself in the atmosphere and visuals of what is clearing going to be a epic adventure full of exploration! i just love that starry sky night outside. Gameplay is welcomingly full of variety with lots of tricky platforming and physical puzzles involving fresh ways of using objects to solve tasks, i particular liked the timed runs and the task of moving gravestones and releasing locked coffins underwater to the surface to aid you to reach new places. This place is just full of puzzles actually involving lights, colours, shooting and push-able objects and is mostly physical orientated with some mental challenges as well with a LOT of running around and collecting items for progression which is to be expected. That cute task with runaway candle was both funny and original for me and we also get some enemies such as knights and scary giant spiders etc but i have to take my hat off for boss fights with that scary lion who keeps disappearing through mirrors to start with and then the monsters later on. Overall the only disappointments for me was the lack of many traps, i mean they do exist but they are very few and far between and the fact that this whole map and area is so overwhelmingly huge with lots of hidden areas and items needed for progression and so a walk-through is almost completely necessary id say otherwise you may get lost and confused where to go or what to do next like me! lol but seriously this level well what an epic and fun experience this was indeed with so much care and attention put into it, a definite must play!" - John (10-Nov-2022)
"A fantastic level by all accounts. The atmosphere and lighting is to die for, very picturesk. Music is well placed and calming. Humour! Ong the imps. I died laughing, I always love a game that can incorporate humour into it. The attention to details was phenomenal. The imps playing cards and wearing glasses! Also the paintings puzzle! Such fun and funny. For me at least i found it quite easy, but I did pull one wrong lever and got a painting on the head! Lol There was a few instances where I was unsure how to proceed, for example the candle that taunts you and hovers away as u get near. My only reasoning for marking it down one on gameplay was that I couldn't go back and retrieve secrets I had missed previously once I had go to the tower section as the door leading back to the main castle was closed and couldn't find away to get back from jumping down from the balcony. I had missed 2, the snail and the crypto currency. After I had completed the game with 7 secrets I reloaded to find the last 2. I had tried to backtrack but was cut off with no way to get back up to the balcony. At least I didn't find a way. Maybe a bug? But other then that a fantastic game very well put together with detailed texturing lighting and great atmosphere. I liked the hint option with the priest also. Good way to assist anyone who maybe stuck." - Lady_Wise (24-Feb-2022)
"Aah, wonderful game. I enjoyed it soooo much. Sometimes it was dark but for the atmosphere it must be and the interiors and exterior looks great. I was excited about the mirror room part, the Imps were great too, objects were very interesting. I dont like if there are enemies and boss fights but you can deal with that easily ... Recommended for sure." - Lioness_86 (19-Feb-2022)
"Finally something of high quality and innovative. This is a huge level with plenty of things you must do to reach the goal, so many things, that in time you forget what you've collected and what you've seen and where you've seen it. Many times it happened that I found a door which I must unlock. Then I run around the huge castle looking for the key. Until I find the key, I've forgotten where I saw the door, so again, I run around the huge castle, looking for the door. And when I finally find it, it turns out that the key doesn't open that door, but another door, which is located on the other side of the map. It seems as if the builders wanted to make exactly this kind of gameplay: you must first run back and forth across a half of the huge map like a crazy person, without having done anything of importance. In my opinion, gameplay is the only thing that I didn't enjoy. Puzzles, by themselves, are very good, innovative and interesting. I haven't figured out the paintings in the wall, I couldn't figure out how to solve it, so I pulled the levers randomly and soon came across the solution. Other puzzles weren't this confusing, I immediately knew what to do. I liked the idea of carrying the torch in the Inventory, and when we need it, to ignite it somewhere and use it. That is a great idea, because the old way was actually boring and we could easily lose the torch, or drop it somewhere, and only later realize that you need it again. There are many great puzzles, and it's impossible to mention or describe them all. Standard enemies are okay, but the bosses are really fantastic. The lion with the mirrors is the best boss I've ever seen. I didn't like the armored knight who kept killing me in the hallways for a really long time, as I tried to figure out a way to kill it. I tried everything, but nothing worked, I even tried to shoot at him, but I thought that it wasn't the correct solution, because I could only hear the bullets ricocheting from his armor, which gave me the impression that he was immortal. Who knows, maybe I had this impression because I expected a more clever solution than simple shooting in such a mighty armored knight. The geometry fits fantastically, we can climb even to the highest tower and look upon the entire level from up there. Some jumps are very cleverly thought of, and even when you think that you're at the top of a roof and that there is nowhere else to go, if you pay attention, you'll realize that you can jump behind the roof, for example. I didn't find all the secrets, I've found only four. This is a great game and I would like that this group of builders create even a longer game with several different locations and levels" - Lima (19-Feb-2022)
"This is definitely a masterpiece in all accounts. The gameplay is not Christmassy -there are enemies and boss fights- it just happens during Christmas in an eerie castle and its surroundings. A lot of exploration and many innovative and clever puzzles we have never seen before, excellent music choices and camera work and stunning visuals both outside and inside the castle. I was impressed by the fact that it was the work of so many builders and yet the outcome was so seamless. Visually, it looks like the artistic illustration of a good fairy- tale book came to life. I encountered a bug where the witch wouldn't release her final minions, but after several restarts of the fight, it finally worked. It took me around 5 hrs to finish with all the well hidden secrets. Highly recommended!" - billie2001 (18-Feb-2022)
"After numerous delays and seemingly an inordinate amount of time in the making, it's wonderful to see this hugely anticipated Team Christmas level finally get its well deserved release. I initially had a bit of trouble getting this to run properly due to some conflict with the patched executable and Windows 8, but an upgrade to Windows 10 alleviated that issue. So I can safely say that the issue is not with the game itself. Now, to the level in question. I'll say this right away: this deserves to be ranked up there with the most brilliantly crafted raids I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. From the expertly crafted surroundings, the gorgeous custom objects, the charming characters (maybe the conversations were a tad overdone), the involving and occasionally head-scratching gameplay (the first painting puzzle was masterful) and the ingenious progression whereby you constantly return to familiar locations from different directions. Loved the secrets too. Probably the only slight annoyance I encountered was during the boss battle with Tamzin. The game crashed a couple of times during the second phase, but it seemed to abate by itself. A work of art in itself and a surefire Hall of Fame entry." - Ryan (18-Feb-2022)
"2021 is over, but that doesn't mean the winter season has to be, and Another Winter Castle is proof of that! The presentation and story are quite fitting and simple to understand. To simplify it into a short summary, Lara and her friends Marianne and Noah research the history of Princess Coral to find out more about their ancestors. Their research and curiosity takes them to Princess Coral's castle, Chateau de Montrevard where they soon discover that a witch has tormented the castle and its occupants. While they look further into their royal lineages, Lara, Marianne, and Noah must find a way to put an end to the witch's reign. Every single detail put into making Chateau de Montrevard was tended with love and care, from the wintery hills encompassing the castle, to the castle's interior, the beach, the dungeons, and even to the imps' little hideaway! I was literally blown away by all the detail, magic, and intricacies that went into creating this enchanted castle! The puzzles were a great addition too! Every puzzle implemented into Another Winter Castle varied from timed runs, block and crate pushing, memory tests, and numerical combinations. Armand's hints were very helpful in the event I needed to know about any new tasks or where I should go next, although I tended to get lost most of the time. The enemies were fun to fight against, particularly the boss battles. Some include a giant knight, a lion spirit, and the witch herself, though I'm kind of sad that there weren't a few more enemies. The boss battles were quite entertaining, and I wanted to see more of them! The lion spirit's boss battle was where I feel this game shined best because not only did you have to avoid getting damaged, you also had to wait for the right moment to destroy the mirrors! The secrets had their own unique charms too. Personally, I wish the croissant secret was edible right now because that actually made me hungry. Overall, my first run took me around 4 hours to complete. Sure, it wasn't a series of levels as I usually preferred, but in its place, the game itself was an entirely massive and beautiful map that encouraged backtracking and getting engrossed in all the details! Not only that, but the huge list of missions I took on during this game kept me on my toes! I can happily say that I'll definitely play Another Winter Castle again. Merry Post- Christmas, everyone!" - DecimaDragonoid (17-Feb-2022)
"I've never seen a track this big. I mean, the size of a track amazed me. Huge! Over 3 hours of net playing time. But the texture, the environment, the equipment design is beautiful. So it's a masterpiece, this creation of 9 track designers. The best Christmas track ever created. It would be,... if it didn't have a few annoying bugs in it, with the combat. Someone complained during the lion fight, for me the game kept quitting during the fight with Tamzin. Even if I didn't save during. So I could only finish the adventure with the help of billie2001, by saving. Too bad. But I won't put my rating below 10, because it's really an exceptional masterpiece. There are some time run-jumps that can be mastered with practice, but still. Great, varied tasks and locations characterize the course. don't miss this adventure! Hungaian walkthrough, and savegames, pictures:" - Obig (15-Feb-2022)
"This took *slightly* longer to finish than the usual single level with about 2:05 hours in my stats at the end, but the invested time was really worth. Despite nine authors being listed, this effort is almost seamlessly created and both gameplaywise and visually there are many stunning moments. The visuals of the castle and its grounds are amazing and especially so with all the far views; every single area has received a lot of care and I couldn't spot any errors in texturing and lighting. Needless to say that the audio tunes and cameras are perfectly integrated and all of these make this level an unforgettable experience. The puzzles are excellent as well, and even if sometimes a bit obscure they all make sense and are highly original - especially the painting and - my favourite - the candle one have to be seen to be believed. Even the first boss fight was a great puzzle making this one of the best in theory - but the thing that lets it down was that once I saved during this fight and reloaded the last mirror would always reappear and I was stuck for good. If this cannot be avoided, it would be better to disable saving right from the start. This and the sometimes tedious backtracking/exploring in case you've missed something important (even if the priest's hints are quite helpful mostly) are the only real issues in this game that you should definately try out soon if you haven't already. Found all nine excellently hidden secrets - one only using the walkthrough - sadly I couldn't finish the level after finding the horn as the doors to the final room were closed during the boss fight. I hope this will be fixed as well." - manarch2 (15-Feb-2022)
"This is a phenomenal group effort, one that deserves a ranking up there with the very best custom levels that have been released over the past two decades. I don't know who MedievalMetal is, but I was about to take him or her to task for that 7 score in the gameplay department until I carefully read his or her thoughtful review and was reminded once again that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that each of us is entitled to express honestly his reaction to his gaming experience. My playing time exceeded a mind- boggling five hours, and I don't consider that any of that time was wasted trying to figure out what to do next, as I was following one of the posted videos while preparing my written walk. The environs have been crafted with exquisite care, and the player is given several opportunities to sit back and enjoy the sheer beauty of the surroundings. My only quibble would be the frequent game-pausing conversations, but I concede ample license for the builders to set forth their story line in whatever manner they so choose. My occasional annoyance is expressed in my walk commentary, so I'll let it go at that. This milestone release was more than a year in the making, and it will soon achieve its deserved place in the Hall of Fame. Highest recommendations." - Phil (12-Feb-2022)
"This is one of these single level games, where you run around a lot in the same place, and gain access to previously inaccessible areas by solving puzzles and collecting items. I found this one to be a lot of fun. It was especially nice how you could get to all these towers and get to see new views on the level. Visually (textures and level design), it was relatively simple, but solid. It was something about the design and the size of the castle that made it rewarding. Maybe it's because of the sense of discovery and all the top views. Although some things were hidden a bit too well and I got stuck, I thought there was a nice balance in general. The gameplay suffered, in my opinion, from too many cut scenes with talking. There wasn't even a real story to tell. Some cut scenes could be canceled, some not - what's the point of that? I also got to complain about the paintings puzzle. I was too dumb to get the hint, so it was a lot of trial & error with reloading, which was annoying. There was a save game bug in the room with the lions. Better don't save there, I had to play a chunk of the game again because of it." - tuxraider (11-Feb-2022)
"I hate christmas but when i saw all this effort from these builders , i had to play was a satisfying trle i must say..i have to point out some things here:1) Moving candle puzzle with SPYRO sound ,2) WITCHER 3 mirror puzzle(master mirror),3) ost from WITCHER 3 playing while monk opens castle ,4) encountered a bug where after meeting monk for first time , in the cinematic , the rock didnt fell into the river so i couldnt progress(i glitched into the rock to jump in the opposite side but in the next cinematic monk also doesnt open door castle,i restarted game and it was fixed) ,5) encountered also another bug where the final boss keep riding the horse again and again after falling down immediately ,6) beautiful secrets.. worth playing for sure" - Petaludas (11-Feb-2022)
"A very solid level in all sections and very innovative. I liked the first part of the Castle more than the final part. The fight against the lion, the puzzle of the mobile candle and the puzzle of the paintings are very satisfying and original. For those three moments alone, this game deserves the hall of fame. I found the hint system very well integrated. Highly recommended. A true masterpiece." - requiemsoul (07-Feb-2022)
"Wow, more than 5 hours for a stand-alone level. I must say it is immersive right from the beginning and never disappoint even if there was a couple of moments where you wonder what's next and can go into circles. And i did not found any clue for the 5 paintings puzzle, either it's me not clever enough or that was too subtle for its own good , anyway that could be solved by trial and error but that was not funny with this mocking painting falling down. Aside from these the flow of the game was rather steady , nothing is very difficult but sometimes you need to think outside of the box or remember where things were earlier. Some puzzles were really good and intuitive , i really loved the sarcophagus area, the crosses puzzle in the cemetary, the colour pad tiles puzzle, and so forth. There is a few parts with a more classic raiding vibe and that was also very welcome. When reaching the lava room and what lies beyond, things were even more impressive and atmospheric and with some creepy encounters. The technical expertise required to do all that you see and do here is incredible without being gratuitous , the amazing animations , the elegant moves , the objects , two bosses that were impressive yet fun to deal with. Texturing lighting and architecture are done profesionnaly, some new musics that are pretty good, and secrets sometimes offer a level of challenge that is superior to the normal gameplay. Without forgetting some funny moments with the imps. Thanks to the builders. (in a few places, it was cool to recognize the style of that particular builder for room design or animation ^^). Bottom line : a long and beautiful level that never ceases to surprise in the good sense." - eRIC (06-Feb-2022)
"An amazing experience by amazing builders! This level is aestethically beautiful, with an interesting plot and dialogues, and also pretty challenging. What I especially liked is that the level does not take itself too seriously and some funny scenes were added which is great since this is a festive level. The locations look great, the lighting and atmosphere are amazing. The only thing that lets me give this level a 9 in gameplay/puzzles and not a 10 is the cimitery puzzle right at the start of the level which is too easy since you just have to face the statues on one direction, maybe it would've been more interesting if it was a little more studied with the need of facing them in particular directions with hints given around the cemetery. It is kind of inconsistent since all the other puzzles in the rest of the game are way more challenging. But that's just my opinion anyway and maybe I'm being too harsh :P the hints system as mentioned by other reviewers is very nice. The references to other games like Spyro is also cute. Really hope to see other stuff made by these builders together!" - Raq (05-Feb-2022)
"And so it seems I've been running, walking and jumping 28557 metres! That was a very pleasant experience, very unique, quite imaginative. You basically get all you can expect from a good raid: exploration in huge environments, platforming, interesting puzzles, creative fights, and a story on top of it all. A delayed Christmas tale that I only got to play about one year and a month after its initial release was supposed to have taken place, but it was well worth the wait. The imps were a laugh - obviously. The design, the lighting, and the sounds (to sum it up, what makes the atmosphere worth it) were excellent. I did notice it used just a few things I'd first seen on War of the Worlds here and there, even though the looks are rather different. Well, it was lovely. My only gripes were it's easy to get disoriented on occasions, namely looking for the last items you need to summon the witch, and I was taken back to the desktop quite a few times during the last fight. Then, all becomes wine and roses. Thank you, the game (only one long level, that would normally have been divided into more levels) was really very good." - Jorge22 (03-Feb-2022)
" Page Title If you're reading this as a future player and might be feeling discouraged from playing this level because of my Gameplay rating, please don't be! Download and play it, it's so worth it; the experience is warm and beautiful. It was just my own frustration and 'stuckness' that resulted in this score. There are no trigger errors, backtracking to find important objects, illegal slopes or anything like that. You might not hit the same snags I did; your route may be much better.

**MY REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS - only read it if you don't mind some information being revealed!**

This is a WORK OF ART! I felt so special when playing it because the level builders paid so much attention to the stunning screenplays and cutscenes, including the painstaking way they designed and textured the level. The level builders and beta testers kept us in mind, and created an almost unbeatable experience. The beginning scene reminded me of the first Shrek movie (which I love to bits). The narrator, who read the book introducing the story of Tamzin and Princess Coral, has such a soothing voice and I could listen to him speak the whole day.

When I saw the names of the level builders, I thought to myself, "Oh boy, this is gonna be GOOD! I'm so excited!" And I was right.

This is how I experienced the level, overall:

Gameplay & Puzzles - 7

I do have positives as well as snags here. I'm sure the vast majority of players, as well as the level builders and beta testers, might disagree with me or be rightfully angry with the snags I had in this category. The problem might be with the way I interpreted it as I was playing. Please don't come for me in my sleep, I beg you 😩 *sobs into pillow*

Snags first, and then positives.

- I felt like some parts of the level were disconnected. I was a bit startled when I discovered that the castle was connected so close to what I would describe as a "deep pit of hell-fire". I realised afterwards that this might contribute to the appropriateness of the storyline.
- I ran around in circles...a LOT. Especially around the front of the castle outside the drawbridge. Every so often, I felt I was hitting a dead-end and I didn't know what to do next.
- I felt frustrated because I ended up collecting a lot of level objects at the beginning, and I didn't know what to do with them. I didn't put 2 and 2 together, and I ran around the inner wings of the castle from Armand's fireplace room, to the library, and back downstairs, for a long time. (I kept getting stuck on the hint of, "Every now and then I'll find myself lost/Have you explored this entire wing, right through to the end?")
- I'll admit, I felt like Marianne and Noah seemed a bit...aloof?...towards Lara as the story unfolded. But this might just be the way I personally interpreted it.

And now for the positives!

+ Those precious imps! The beginning cutscene introducing them was adorable (the one imp has an arm like a quarterback! 🤣), and I was so upset when the wraiths chased them out of their den. They were just minding their own business, playing cards! I was so pleased when they ended up joining everyone in the castle to celebrate. I love them; they've got so much character, and were not at all like the changelings in TR5.
+ I didn't need a walkthrough to complete the level. Yay! (This is rare for me. I've only ever completed two levels without a walkthrough - this level, and CaC21 Iris.)
+ I enjoyed the hints that Armand gave; they helped a lot.
+ I LOVED the painting-lever clue, the shattered-fairies search, and the lion-mirror puzzle.
+ When I did collect the level objects at the beginning, I persevered, and eventually I stumbled upon a clue that made the WHOLE thing make sense at once. That revelation felt great!

Enemies, Objects & Secrets - 10

+ Care and attention to detail ensured that the objects were visible. I didn't miss seeing any objects or pickups along the way.
+ Enemies and objects were so artfully designed.
+ There was enough ammo and medipacks provided and I never ran out of anything.
+ All the enemies could be completely defeated with just pistols, and not just be knocked over temporarily. (Especially those dang undead knights!)
+ I didn't find all the secrets, but the ones I did were so special, and were tons of fun to find. I noticed the Eiffel Tower ornament and I couldn't figure out how to carry the lit torch up (or how to find fire right at the top) to melt the snow, so I missed out on collecting that one.

Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras - 10

+ Absolutely STUNNING. I was floored. Appropriate for a gorgeous Christmas level.
+ The camera-work was brilliant! I used to play around with the Level Editor a long time ago and I would time the cameras too long or too short, or I'd mess up the triggering and direction. It takes skill to do what you've done.
+ The sound was crisp and clear, and I thoroughly enjoyed the voice-acting. Lara's voice actress got the nuances of TR4 Lara down to a T!
+ Most of the time, I'd be so immersed in the game that I'd forget where I was. I'd take a break to drink some water, and then I'd look around and realise I was in my lounge.

Lighting & Textures - 10

+ An absolute, obvious 10. I've never seen such high-quality, brilliant details and realistic textures.
+ It's like you reached into my mind, pulled out some of my favourite things, and brought them to reality in this level. (Think 'Bring Me To Life' by Evanescence, the style of the windows and bars on the castle, and the medieval architecture and artwork.)

Overall rating: (7+10+10+10)/4 = 9.25

My conclusion is: Please, please, please keep making more levels, especially like this! 🙏🏻 I get excited when I see your new releases and will continue to play them. I respect your collaborative effort for this level, and you're all SO worth your salt as level builders and beta testers! I've been following your work for several years and have played multiple levels already. (If I published my own level it might not even score 2/10, and it certainly won't be anywhere near the wondrous beauty I experienced from this level.)

I'm sorry for being so critical with the Gameplay section; I promise I'm not attacking you. I wanted to describe my experience as accurately as possible. It just felt like a tasty dish I wanted to eat with wild abandon, but couldn't, because there were 3 or 4 hidden cardamom pods in there.

I took my time to explore the map and kept taking screenshots with nearly every cutscene, because the entire map is so breathtakingly beautiful. I took about 280-300 screenshots in total. I wandered around carefully and deliberately, and explored almost every corner. It was such a wonderful experience that I took a sweet, leisurely 8 hours and 30 minutes to finish the game. I set aside time each day during the past week to complete a bit of it, and I think that coming back to it with a fresh mind each day helped me see new clues I didn't notice before (and it stopped me from relying on a walkthrough).

Thank you for releasing your level. I walked away with a positive experience, and I wait with baited breath for many more levels you'll release in the future! " - MedievalMetal (02-Feb-2022)
"The wait for the contribution to the Advent Calendar 2020 was definitely worth it. The player can expect a very varied game with many interesting and partly very funny tasks. The game is, as it should be for an Xmas level, not difficult to play, but with very innovative tasks. I liked the picture puzzle, the demonic lions jumping out of mirrors, or the "catch the candle" task the most. The castle, where almost all the action takes place, is beautifully designed. The gameplay is so polished that once you start, you don't want to stop playing. This fascinated me a lot. In each new area, you were eager to see what would happen next. There was never any boredom. Textures, lighting and background music harmonize perfectly. You can see how much work went into it when you reach the first zipline. From the tower you have an overview of the whole area. The game should not be missed and is highly recommended." - nad (02-Feb-2022)
"This is a completely atypical level. It contains all the features we look for in an official TR or custom levels ... but not just that: it is a (successful) storytelling operation, a demonstration of how much the LDs can still give to the players nowadays, and, last but not least, a complex but enjoyable winter fairy tale. But let's go in order. STORY: Our Lara, together with her friends, has to explore an ancient and labyrinthine castle in order to break a terrible curse, which has its roots in a legemd that perhaps has more than a grain of truth. The plot will slowly unfold as we play, revealing twists, poetic moments and many surprises, accompanied by a bomb-proof gameplay. GAMEPLAY: It's really amazing how many things the LDs managed to put into this level. There is (a lot of) exploration, action, puzzles and even two boss fights! The level has a really complex structure, it requires a lot of memory and rather high skills in order to deal with it; in particular, due to the presence of enemies and booby traps, despite being a Christmas level it is not recommended for children or those looking for a relaxing game. THECNICAL CONSTRUCTION: On a technical level, the LDs have done real miracles: everything works wonderfully, nothing is left to chance and there are irresistible goodies such as the introductory and final videos, but also the system of clues that Lara can ask for (almost) at any time to an elderly priest ... and many other small and big things that will not fail to amaze you. CONCLUSION: rarely a level got me like this. The enchanted castle is as disturbing as it is wonderful, at every step you can feel that sense of loneliness and alertness of the "real" TRs; it seems that anything can happen within those walls, and as a matter of facts, so it will! Maybe you can find this level to be a little hard and vast, but keep in mind that the prize for the more than 3 hours of gameplay is a poetic and sometimes melancholic story that will linger in your hearts for a long time." - Nillc (30-Jan-2022)
"Superlative joint effort. Some great innovative twists on the puzzle gameplay. Enemies were appropriate and objects (so many objects) were, like the textures, lovingly crafted and complemented the wonderful interior decor perfectly. Secrets were actually not that hard to find, but I liked that you still had some work to do to claim them once spotted. The atmosphere was just right and I don't know how anyone would want the level was so good I didn't want it to end!" - Adrian (29-Jan-2022)
"Absolutely amazing level and nothing short of a masterpiece. I can easily see this being one of the highest rated levels on the whole site, and it would deserve it. One of the most engaging experiences I've had with Tomb Raider or any game in a long time. Everything about this level feels professional because it is made by professionals, very talented ones. Anyone interested in TRLE levels at all should make the time to play this. I can't recommend it enough." - Lorax (28-Jan-2022)
"Gameplay & Puzzles: I'd say so amazing!? There is everything you want to do and likely from a classic TR. Puzzles, the painting one it's amazing especially if you make mistakes! LOL Torch, the Spyro references are amazing as fan of Spyro too. The right backtracking for old but gold TR. If you get stuck you can ask for hints from the priest which is really awesome! Everytime he has different hints. I really liked even the lamp puzzle. I also like the mirror room with the TR4 'typical' puzzle. Enemies, Object & Secrets: Enemies were fine, especially the lion boss fight. It has a beautiful gameplay and tactics to kill the boss. It has been amazing even the final battle. The Secrets were very well hidden and I really like that hey are typical French objects and that you can you actually use one of them (Carillon) so that it produces music! I love the Purple Gem which I immediately recognized to be an item from Spyro! Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: All it's perfect. Atmosphere it's appropriate for a xmas level, snowy, with cave, the one with the torch. The 102 into the music folder which comes from 'Riven' as the readme file says. Appropriate was even the 'typical' anniversary library music. Another great music was that one from TR5 when you see the cutscenes with the 'minions'! I really like the music composed by Dj Full too :)) I like the lion's boss fight ost. Lightning & Testures: Perfect fit for a xmas level! I don't have any complaints on this level, I like it a lot and it is so enjoyable. Thanks to the builders for realeasing it even with delay. I also did the complete video walkthrough with all items and secrets collected on my YT channel! 🙂" - Saki Croft (26-Jan-2022)
"I betatested this. Wow so after a year an a month we finally saw a light from this level and it didn't dissapoint me whatsoever. All I can say is I am absolutely glad that I was able to betatest this.

Gameplay & Puzzles: There is a lot of gameplay, ranging from different puzzles and gameplay mechanics for example the picture puzzle where you pull the correct switch is amazing and funny when you pull the wrong one, or the pressure plate puzzle is amazing. I loved it. Let's not forget the incredible hint system which should be in every custom level (builders take notes) and also the incredible lion and the witch boss battle which were amazing as no one did this before.

I had to take a point off the gameplay section however, but that is only because I felt like the level is too long (finished level in 2hr 30mins I guess it can be said it's a record breaking longest single level) and should be slighly, tiny condensed. HOWEVER I am still pleased with the gameplay and it will still be a 10 for me.

Enemies, Objects & Secrets: As I said the enemy boss battles are really good, for example you have mirrors to shatter for the lion boss battle so it stops teleporting to them so that you can kill it for definite. or the witch boss where you kill her minions to be able to finally defeat her. Usage of objects is incredible through out the castle. And secrets are very well hidden.

Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Atmosphere is fantastic, you have this huge and beautiful castle that you explore and the interiors are so good and vast that you will enjoy exploring each of them. Sound is perfect and I loved the ones that Dj made exclusively for this level, cameras are really well-done too.

Lighting & Textures: Lighting is very good with nice touch to objects and texturing is really good to. No complaints in this category.

Summary: In summary this is a fantastic winter-themed level which was delayed for a year but we finally got to play it! Congrats to the team for making this beautiful castle. But I have to say that Dinne, Lore, Dj deserve a massive congratulations and triumph imo, because they spent everyday and week tirelessly fixing crashes and optimizing it as far as it could be and without them, the level could not be released. Again congratulations everyone and I shall be waiting for next christmas-themed levels later this year :)" - Kubsy (24-Jan-2022)