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Cultist's Secret - Level 01 (Demo) by Igor Gois

DJ Full 9 8 8 8
eRIC 6 7 8 7
John 9 8 9 9
manarch2 6 7 7 7
nerdfury 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 8
tuxraider 7 8 8 7
release date: 13-Aug-2022
# of downloads: 162

average rating: 7.75
review count: 8
review this level

file size: 110.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Mystery/Horror

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Reviewer's comments
"A demo that isn't a short one, well built overall and with a correct setting, not too many enemies. The progression is a bit tedious at times with many ladders to climb to places that are not opened yet ; also near the end there is a problem with the two underwater levers that are supposed to open a trapdoor but that did not work in my game , that's where i quit. You need to fix this for the full game. I enjoyed the gameplay in and around the warehouse with the red curtains , and the ambient rain adds a lot to the atmosphere." - eRIC (08-Oct-2022)
"I was pleasantly surprised by this level. It's billed as being in the Mystery/Horror category, but I found it to be a typical Venice level. Although it takes place in a nighttime setting, I never once had this feeling of stumbling around in the dark trying to see what I was doing. Yes, builders, it can be done. There's a vast area to explore, and you can waste a lot of time getting started before finding an underwater lever that allows you to begin your progression. Enemies are few in this one; the main fare is exploration and figuring out how to get from one place to the next, and it's not a very intuitive exercise. I found myself on several occasions making substantial progress in one area only to discover that I had gotten there too soon and needed to do or get something first in another area. Still, it's a relatively stress-free raid that will require most players the better part of an hour to complete, and I had a good time here. The music tracks are traditional but appropriately placed. The vertical underwater maze took me a while to figure out, probably because I was confused by the number of the underwater levers and maybe pulled one of them twice. Anyway, once you get past that part the level quickly comes to an end with a perhaps too-easy pushpiece puzzle. Recommended." - Phil (19-Sep-2022)
"After my (sadly) rather negative experience with this builder's previously released effort, I decided to try the latest in his repertoire in the hope that the experience would be more well-rounded and enjoyable. Thankfully it was. The gameplay is a lot more player-friendly this time round and entertaining to get through (maybe aside from the tiered underwater maze and rather a lot of running around in the vast main canal area) with some fun exploration segments interspersed with the occasional timed sequence, and there's a nice feeling of having accomplished an important task when you return to the main area to continue on. Surroundings are a bit on the dark side, but nothing too annoying and the Venice setting is solidly constructed. Not a bad raid at all." - Ryan (19-Sep-2022)
"Most about this level has been said in the other reviews, and I share the positive views. Good gameplay, looks good, interesting to explore. Maybe it's a bit too dark. I think the large area wouldn't be a problem if you hadn't to wander around so much when looking for clues and what to do next. When you get stuck, you have to cover much distance and climb up all these ladders to revisit the places where you potentially forgot something. It wasn't a major issue, but still unnecessarily frustrating. Visually, the area is strange because there are no exits for the boats. Sometimes, it was a mystery what a switch did. More hints or camera changes would have been good. Time runs have a visible countdown, which is good. Some places were mean and I couldn't tell whether it required one of these nearly-impossible jumps, or whether something else was missing. (It was always the latter.) These are minor issues, and I found the level generally enjoyable to play. This is just a demo, and it ends abruptly. The full game, once it's released, should be interesting." - tuxraider (03-Sep-2022)
"(8) Gameplay & Puzzles: This easy adventure took me 1 hour 30 mins. It really feels like a robust, full adventure, and I had so much fun for the most part. There's not much puzzling and no tricky platforming, however the exploration and pacing is engaging, with a logical sense of progression. The exploration sits in that sweet spot where it is not overly-complicated, and it's also not dull and overly-straight-forward either. I always wanted to press forward, to unlock a new room, and to see how different rooms would end up being connected. My favorite task was the problem-solving in the room with the 4 big red curtains. Seeing more interesting puzzles and/or platforming would really elevate the gameplay to stellar, in my opinion. Also, refining the last "act" of the level, in the sewers and beyond. There's a not-so-interesting swimming room here where you're just swimming vertically back and forth a bunch. Aside from that, these sewer tasks in general to retrieve the 2nd golden coin just feel like "same old, same old". (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Nothing really memorable about enemies, however, I'm not keen about picking up a shotgun and then ending the level. I know it's a demo, however the anti-climatic feeling would be lessened if the player was forced to fight some goons after picking up the shotgun (and then end the level after that). The object decor is lovely, and I could tell that the builder took time to decorate each and every one of those little residential rooms, to make them look like they're being lived in. The trap setup is very minimal and has been done so many times before. For the full release I hope to see more interesting trap setups and/or problem-solving with objects in unique ways. (8) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The atmosphere is immersive and polished. The sense of place and room connectivity is well done, with the player regularly being teased by not-yet-accessible pickups or levers. I do think the outdoor canal architecture is stronger than the indoor architecture. Music tracks and sound cues are perfect, no issues there, although it was rather off-putting to hear an outdoor looping ambience with cheerful birds chirping, considering it's night time. Flybys and static camera hints are also generally polished, however there's one static camera that I thought was cumbersome. It's the camera hint after you commence the 12 second timed run at the canal. I was either stuck inside the camera hint for 2 seconds, or I was able to exit the camera hint by blindly moving to a different tile, but this is awkward to do if you can't see Lara. One more thing about this category is that after collecting the bronze key, sometimes the starting canal area would shake (like there was a triggering hidden rolling ball somewhere nearby). (8) Lighting & Textures: As with the builder's previous level, this one looks great. I appreciate that while it's a dark level, many flares are provided, and the builder regularly gives the player's eyes a change of pace, by having them explore well-lit interior rooms before going back outside into the darkness again. Things to improve are unclean texturing on triangular tiles, warped window textures, and flat lighting in small corridor areas. Overall, this is a huge gameplay improvement when considering the builder's previous level. Well done. I recommend it to players who love Venetian exploration, however, I think the last "act" of gameplay is missing something. 8/7/8/8." - nerdfury (02-Sep-2022)
"Despite a few less inspired sections the gameplay still kept being rather interesting for the 35 minutes this game took me to finish. There is some unnecessary to and fro here and a few shortcuts had been very welcome in this rather oversized level, but I enjoyed a few of the tasks like the timed run and the puzzles; however, I was no fan of that actually not very large but tedious underwater section to get the last stone circle and the pushable puzzle at the end wasn't very thrilling. The looks are solid, with somewhat too strong usage of shadows and lights in some places and not always clean texturing, but still there were some nice looking areas. Enemies are rather okay as are the three secrets. I missed out on the builder's previous level, but compared to his debut this is a clear step in the right direction and I hope that the full version will be available soon." - manarch2 (21-Aug-2022)
"Everything here is quite default and a bit oversized so the map takes way too long to explore, but it still plays better than it looks, despite of breaking the key rule of "main pickup taken => room complete". Recommended for a long rainy evening when you have a couple of spare hours." - DJ Full (17-Aug-2022)
"Well if this is only a demo then i am seriously impressed! Set at night in Venice, the setting and atmosphere is just to die for, everything looks and feels quite already done and polished to me when it comes to the visuals and sounds etc. The gameplay starts off quite simple and basic really, looking and exploring around rooftops and inside the buildings near the waterways for keys and switches etc before ramping up after about 20 mins into fantastic, engaging, varied and fun puzzles and tasks involving lots of different styles of platforming and traps! not to mention that insane timed run that took me about 6 tries haha but so rewarding. Your main aim is to find objects to progress so you can eventually go back to the beginning of the level and open an area previously in- accessible which holds an color push-able object puzzle and a fall down a hatch which for me actually crashes back to the desktop each time so i hope that was the end of the demo and not a bug with the level. I cannot wait for a full release because i found this level so enjoyable and fun and there wasnt any points where it got dull or tedious or where i got stuck for long, it made such a refreshing change not to get lost in what to do or where to go next in such an large and task filled level and being able to figure it all out without the backup of a walkthrough available. This has to be one of my favorite venice levels" - John (17-Aug-2022)