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Castle of the Timeless Sands by Cornchild

CC 5 6 8 7
Ceamonks890 5 6 5 6
Daffy 7 7 8 9
Dimpfelmoser 6 5 8 8
eTux 5 5 6 7
Gerty 7 6 8 7
Jay 6 7 7 8
Jose 5 6 5 8
Kristina 7 8 9 8
Litepulsar 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 5 7 7 7
Momster 6 5 7 7
Orbit Dream 5 5 6 8
Oxy 7 9 9 9
Phil 7 6 7 7
RaiderGirl 6 7 8 8
Ryan 5 6 7 8
Sash 6 5 7 7
Sherry 7 7 8 8
Torry 6 8 8 8
Treeble 6 7 8 8
Wendee 7 8 8 6
release date: 17-Nov-2002
# of downloads: 94

average rating: 6.91
review count: 22
review this level

file size: 24.90 MB
file type: TR4
class: Castle

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Being thankfully much more straightforward in its linearity, Cornchild uses much of the TR4 assets to his advantage in this twenty minute two-parter (with a decent combined use of TR1 Peru textures and a number of custom ones to give the castle some semblance of being lived in). While there are a number of areas which stand out in a good way (such as the lava-filled globe room at the end of Level 1 or the focused camerashot view of the likely intended hellish night sky as you cross the bridge to the main hub of Level 2), much of this levelset feels very underdeveloped and unfinished in places, with important items usually located in the same room that they're utilized in and gameplay ideas are never really allowed to properly flourish as you move onto the next simple task at hand. So in conclusion, another competently made release from Cornchild (in spite of some questionably excessive dark lighting and a few beginner mistakes relating to an already collected horseman diamond still being present in one of the newly-opened coffins and the camera getting stuck, after opening a trapdoor required for progression through one of the levels). If Cornchild had given this levelset a bit more time in the creative oven, I'd imagine this castle would have turned out a bit more noteworthy to play than it ultimately did in the end." - Ceamonks890 (04-Feb-2022)
"A two part level, but not linked so you’ll have to play them separately. I rather liked the atmosphere generated by the unusual textures/objects – definitely something rather innovative for a level of its age. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but interesting enough to make this an ideal level for the less experienced player." - Jay (06-Feb-2020)
"I suppose you could do worse if you're looking for something easygoing and not too taxing, but it was a bit too brief for me personally. At least the gameplay segues linearly from one simple task to another and the castle environment is competently built. There are a few traps that pose a mild challenge, but again nothing too difficult as you can usually make it through in the first or second try. Found three golden rose secrets but no extra weaponry and finished just short of 25 minutes." - Ryan (28-Jan-2019)
"First question: why the levels are not linked? Or perhaps we need to start the second one first, 'cause it's linked with the first one? Never mind, this short levels are easy to play with simple puzzles and a fast gameplay. Nice environments, good texturization and lighting, I need to discover some secrets to can advance. Very few enemies, I missed more cameras and sounds here and there. If you need to spend some quiet time, this levels are a good option." - Jose (15-Aug-2016)
"After a flurry of early levels this builder seems to have retired abruptly. This one consists of two short levels that have to be played separately. There's nothing particularly distinguished here, but the gameplay flows smoothly and the environs are reasonably attractive. The secrets are easy to find. Anya Marie McDonald has provided a walkthrough that assumes the player has weaponry not encountered in the game. My total time for both levels was not much over thirty minutes if that much." - Phil (24-Jul-2015)
"It is a very interesting level which offers us the author, The place is nicely decorated so that Lara's visit is nice for eyes. The gameplay is rather well, they have a good time with a lot of obstacle to be crossed without its being beginner's nightmare and they never search too much for a long time when it is necessary to go and what it is necessary to make. A good level for every player and a good point for this constructor who does not lack ideas." - Daffy (25-Aug-2009)
"This are two short levels - dark castle with lava pits and burning fires, waters, little rooms and big halls, worth to see. Environment is mostly bright and nice textured. Game-play is easy, suitable also to beginners - searching for keys and avoiding some skeletons and traps. I liked the silent atmosphere very much. Pushable vases were smashed by hammer; I also liked two skeletons who were locked in the jail. Approximately 1 hour of game-play. I wish I would see more." - Oxy (12-Apr-2009)
"I don't know if this is the mac or it's in the game but once I started to play I had to stay in the game I couldn't exit or the computer crashed. It also crashed as Lara hit the end trigger. It was ok to save and reload but a bit dodgy a couple of times being thrown to the desktop. I thought this was an Egyptian level - you know timeless sands on a statue scenario. But it's not it's very medieval looking not even Highland Castle kind of going in the direction of Doomsday. A great hall dungeons dragon tiles. So it was interesting to get around this new style of castle setting. It's fairly straight forward most things you need like keys torch etc. are near where you need to use them right beside you on one occasion. There's only one place I wasn't sure about. That was going through sliding blocks then pulling out another block. I was trapped and only got out by doing the jumping through the corner cheat. The highlight for me was walking towards a huge sphere and watching it opening up like a flower but when I tried to jump into it I found it was run-through. But . . . there's huge potential here nonetheless. Must go see what other levels this author has made." - CC (25-Jul-2004)
"This is my kind of level - good looking nice atmosphere flowing gameplay pretty straightforward. The level itself is short (20 minutes being 15 on the first part and 5 on the second) but pretty fun to play. In the second level there were outside rooms and I must say.... what was that? Reddish textures all around and the moon seemed to be bruised! And one other thing in this same second level - you get the torch the fire AND the burning rope in two adjacent tiles dropping the ball you open the door which is also nearby! Completely.... unusual! Anyway a nice level worth playing." - Treeble (22-Sep-2003)
"Typical Orbit Dream playing these two little adventures the wrong way round. Sometimes I wonder if I can manage to tie my shoe-laces properly! What we have here are two rather short levels although the Cleopal is the more interesting with a good selection of hazards and a rather neat (but completely pointless) Big Round Thing opening up at the end. The gameplay was fast but occasionally repetitive; the 'vase smashing device' was intriguing the first time but by its third appearance I was starting to get the hang of it. My biggest complaint is that despite the builder creating his/her own WAD and incorporating new textures they were apparently unable to create a Load screen for the Catacomb level. This ruined the pleasure of the first (or as it may have been the second) adventure for me. Worth a try nevertheless in a 'slightly reminiscent of Castle Doomsday but much smaller' sort of way." - Orbit Dream (12-May-2003)
"Two ultra short levels of around 15 minutes each where you would swear you had returned to Castle Doomsday. I quite enjoyed the romp with the many doors to open keys to find smashing blocks and swinging blades to avoid. Even if the gameplay bordered on relatively easy the atmosphere made up for it. My only real complaint is when Lara dies or loading a savegame the level promptly dispatches you back to your desktop and that is a pet hate of mine. Please why can't you guys fix these problems before you release them?" - Torry (26-Jan-2003)
"Even though some of the elements are recognisable from Sanctuaries of Ice Water and Fire and also possibly Castle Doomsday they are really well represented I think the author did a good job on design here. As well as the overall layout of the level which was pretty good in my opinion. There are a few bugs/flaws that need to be ironed out though... like both levels crashing to the desktop when you have to reload and one didn't lead on to the other. I had to use the corner bug on one occasion to get past a block that led to the second secret in the first level because there was no way to get out...oops hehe. I think the camera shot of the coloured sky and Lara running across the bridge was cool as well as the placement of traps. Even though the gameplay was easy (as was finding the secrets) it was quite a lot of fun to play and it was such a shame the two levels were so short! I also really liked the lovely mirror effect into the lava room near the start of the level. Your main objectives are to find sets of keys a gem and the timeless sands (for some odd reason renamed as the music scroll here). In the second level one of the secrets actually helps you to progress further in the game but it's not hard to figure out how. Your main enemies are a few bats and the pesky skeletons. I liked the bit where the skeletons come up behind you after pulling a switch releasing them from their prison. Oh yes you also have to find one trident yet again there is no challenge to the gameplay hence the rating for that particular area. Even though the atmosphere lighting and textures were very well done the author needs to concentrate on more challenging gameplay! This is a fun though short level and I do recommend it for beginners to custom levels." - Litepulsar (16-Dec-2002)
"What a nice two somewhat small levels. Only I wish that whenever Lara dies in this case not that much I didn't get thrown back to my desktop with both levels. Looking for 2 keys in the first level was not that difficult although I got bothered by a skeleton. Some lever pulling and some pushing to do. There is also the boulder with the rope but you can't miss that one. In level 2 you have to find a bit more and can anyone tell me what the torch was doing there? In here there is also some swimming finding levers to open trapdoors pushing of blocks and vases. The sliding blocks were great also the use of axes. The golden sphere a novelty but what was it purpose as I could just walk through it. 07-12-2002" - Gerty (07-Dec-2002)
"Made up of a set of two short levels the flow of each was pretty quick as none of the puzzles in either were brain teasers such as the find a torch light it and then burn the rope puzzle all in the space of a couple of steps even the secrets of which I found 2 in each level were a little easy except for maybe getting around one movable block next to some sliding blocks but this was still not difficult. I admit though that I still had fun with these levels but it's hard to put a finger on why possibly because they were quite atmospheric. By the way I was very pleased to see the inclusion of the large opening orb that you will all recognise again though it just wasn't worked in well enough but hey it was still a cool effect. Quite an attractive set of levels but I was so reminded of 'Castle Doomsday' that it was hard to think of them as anything other than that." - Sash (03-Dec-2002)
"I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the whole scenery. The player wanders indoors in search for a gem keys and golden roses I found four of them which of course are secrets not very difficult to find. Not to forget the title's item of course the timeless sands that I never found a use for it. Swinging axes spikes skeletons and moving blocks are the obstacles the player will be facing. Quite a few doors though I would say a couple opening while you approach. This level requires some backtracking that might be confusing as you need to get a key to open a door you saw previously or the gem to finally reach the final stage of the level. Not to worry though it's not as complex as it sounds there is a crawlspace in the axes area to give you a hint but be careful not to use it too soon as it might confuse you more without the right order of events. There is a problem though in the second level as if you die you get kicked to the desktop that was annoying. It is a very good effort with good game play therefore my ratings are high. I would like to see a sequel." - Kristina (02-Dec-2002)
"Set in a very nice looking castle (and a very clean one too) these levels are full of squishing blocks pushable blocks keys to collect a swinging blade that caught me completely by surprise some lava and even a skeleton or two. There's nothing overly difficult to do but enjoy at least a half hour of pleasant raiding. Secrets: 4" - RaiderGirl (25-Nov-2002)
"Castle levels are really kind of en vogue these days. This double-feature is yet another offering and indeed the setting is quite enjoyable. Both levels last around 15 minutes of net gaming which is just a bit too short in my book. In both levels I found two golden rose secrets. You get movable blocks swinging blades squishing blocks and urns to be squashed by hammers. Skeletons and bats are the enemies. The real highlight though was the golden sphere - a first for me in custom levels and very impressive despite the collision problem." - Michael (24-Nov-2002)
"Well there was no timeless sands but there was a torch I didn't use in the first part and a door that stayed shut. I did get a little irritated carrying around this torch and trying to remember where I left it thinking I needed it and alas I didn't. This was kind of fun but textures are a little iffy atmosphere's not bad but no enemies to speak of. In part one there are 2 skeletons in cages and when you open the doors they stay in their cages so no threat there. Mostly just moving some blocks to find keys to open doors pulling some switches and a couple of underwater doors. In part 2 which is very short you do have a couple of bats and one skeleton that you can blow off a ledge with the shotgun you just found oh so conveniently. I don't think I used one single med pak and I left with a music scroll I don't remember acquiring. Shame. This could have been so much more." - Momster (22-Nov-2002)
"This was a fun couple of levels to play. The action was constant and enjoyable. Catacomb level: fairly linear 20 minutes of gameplay with a nasty skeleton to dodge a block to maneuver keys to find and a smashing wall to beat. The only problem I had with this level was that it crashed to desktop whenever I died and tried to reload. Cleo level: Dark but not excessively so. Use the binocs to look around if you run out of flares. Make sure you keep an eye out for the unexpected lest you get sliced or smashed. This is another level of find keys pull levers swim and push urns. Included is the Hall of death. I do believe you can forgo lots of running around if you are willing to take a chance in the hall." - Wendee (21-Nov-2002)
"This was an enjoyable evening's gaming although some flaws in construction but what the hay did not impede the game play. Interesting atmosphere and good ideas. I like castle levels but have no idea how the title relates to the game play. Nothing difficult to find which is a nice change. All in all good fun." - Sherry (21-Nov-2002)
"I didn't find anything special about this level it's just a mix of 2 elements that made 2 other custom levels really wonderful. The objects from The Sanctuary of Water Ice & Fire and textures from Castle Doomsday didn't always match so well in fact this somehow spoiled the atmosphere for me as there was nothing overly unique in the level. Sure I'm happy to see the author got the planet from 'The Race for the Iris' working and I liked some nice touches with the demolished stairs in level 2 but the puzzles are nothing you've never seen before everything you need is always nearby. The torch part was pathetic you pick up the torch from a tile light it up on the same square and just go one square further to use it but maybe this was just a joke and I didn't get it. Nothing special a level only for those who love castles." - eTux (20-Nov-2002)
"Alright we have been spoiled by some really great castle levels but still I enjoyed this one here. There are a few flaws like the second part is missing the loadscreen the torch puzzle is rather simple the secrets are hard to miss there are virtually no enemies in the first part and the tasks in hand are not very challenging but I liked the setting and the fluent pace of the 35 minutes of gameplay. Don't worry except for the sarcophagi there is hardly any evidence of the Cleopal wad and the Catacomb influence is equally hard to spot. There were some nice touches like the big sphere that mysteriously opened when you approached (pity you could walk through it) and I always appreciate it when the author tries something new although it didn't work all the time as the big buttons seemed a bit out of place. But all in all I would say the author has a refreshingly original approach. All he needs now is enough patience to make it all work out as planned. Yep you guessed it: a few questions remain; like what was the first torch for or what lies behind the settomb door?" - Dimpfelmoser (18-Nov-2002)