Fans of the Tomb Raider series will be happy to hear that the latest installment has finally arrived in the iOS App Store. However, if you’re a fan of the classic Tomb Raider action game, you might be surprised how this new game looks and what it offers since it brings a completely new genre into the series. I am sure there are many fans of this series who are eagerly waiting on the newest installment called Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is going to be published this November for various platforms (PC/Xbox/PlayStation). In this light, the mobile version of this game could make that waiting period a bit shorter.
Lara Croft GO ($4.99), developed by Square Enix, is a fresh take on the classic Tomb Raider series. Just like with Hitman GO, the iOS installment is a turn-based puzzle game that brings cartoon-like levels, packed with lots of action as well. Continue reading to learn more about this interesting game as well as to see what it brings.
First, let’s take a look at the game’s visuals. Lara Croft GO brings stunningly designed levels, with lots of details and animated elements. It actually reminds me of Monument Valley up to a certain point, maybe because of the 3D perspective, dioramas, and cartoon-like graphics. In addition to the amazingly smooth performance, I am sure you will enjoy in the atmospheric soundtrack that makes every level come alive. I actually recommend grabbing a pair of your favorite earbuds or headphones in order to fully immerse yourself into the game. Lara Croft GO looks, sounds, and feels amazing, and I enjoyed it from the first up to the very last level.
When it comes to the gameplay, Lara Croft GO is a turn-based puzzle game, which means that you will have to go through levels in chronological order. Every level brings the same goal and that’s to keep Lara safe until you get to the end point, but this is easier said than done. There are numerous different puzzles in the game, alongside enemies and other obstacles. What I would like to point out is how detailed each level is, and it’s clear the developer has put a lot of thought and effort into designing these levels. They never get repetitive, and I was always intrigued by what’s around the next corner. The early levels will introduce you to the game, and explain how to move, activate levels, and maneuver around different traps, enemies, and other dangers. From there on, you will be on your own.
During all 40 levels of the newest Tomb Raider iOS installment, you will be fighting against bottomless pits, snakes that eat everything that comes in front of them, maneuvering around fire pits, and keep your character away from giant arachnids and lizards. If you are a long-term fan, I am sure you will remember each of these elements from an earlier game, which is why this installment is so charming and full of personality.
When it comes to how difficult and challenging this game, I think this is highly relative. Since I play a lot of puzzle games, and I’ve tested hundreds of iOS puzzles over the years, I can’t say that I was stuck on some level. However, even though the levels were not as challenging, I still enjoyed every minute of it, and I still want to play the game from the beginning. What is interesting is how different elements work together, and I am sure you will have to stop for a minute and think about possible combinations before proceeding. This means that even if you manage to beat a monster in one level, the same set of actions won’t work in another level. Since there are all kinds of challenges and dangers like snakes and other animals, levers, buttons, and platforms, these can create a very complex set of obstacles.
Fans of the Tomb Raider series will be happy to hear that there is a reason to replay levels, since you can find different fragments and relics, cleverly hidden. You can use these to unlock additional outfits for Lara, but they don’t have any special effects. The good news is that the relics are relatively easy to find, so you don’t have to buy an in-game pack to unlock Lara’s outfits.
The game is priced at $4.99, which is somewhat more expensive than most iOS games, but I believe the game is well worth the price considering the amazing art style and the amount of gameplay it brings. Even though there are two in-app purchase packs, you can finish the game without spending any additional money. You can pay for additional Lara’s outfits ($1.99), or you can get puzzle solutions for $4.99.
Even though this is a completely new direction for the Tomb Raider series, I think that existing fans and new players will both be happy. The opening menu screen brings a bit of nostalgia with a wheel of items you cycle though, and items like this can be found all over the game. This is why Lara Croft GO really does feel like a classic Tomb Raider experience, especially considering the platform it was built for. What is also important to be said is that the game doesn’t feel the same as Hitman GO, which uses a similar approach. These are two very distinctive games with their own identities, even though they have a lot in common. Lara Croft GO is a true next-generation puzzle that bends the basics of this genre and creates something very interesting, dynamic, and incredibly fun to play. I am sure you will spend a lot of hours on making Lara reach her goals.
I would recommending purchasing this game in case you are a fan of Lara’s adventures and if you like solving puzzles. It was also nice to see several connections to the original Tomb Raider, since we can often see reboots these days.
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