Lara Croft GO is a fresh take on the classic Tomb Raider franchise. Starring everyone’s favorite archaeologist, Lara Croft, it’s a turn-based puzzle game, similar in style to Hitman GO.
Admittedly, I wasn’t crazy about previous Tomb Raider games, but when I heard that Square Enix had taken Lara Croft down the puzzle game route, I just had to try it out and it hasn’t disappointed.
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A thing of beauty
What struck me first were the visuals; a beautiful, whimsical style that isn’t far removed from Monument Valley‘s puzzle layout. The world that Lara Croft is navigating her way through is rich in both color and detail, and all of the characters in the game are designed in a beautifully smooth way.
With a lot of mobile games, especially ones of the puzzle variety, I tend to turn of the soundtrack if I can; however, the music accompanying Lara Croft GO is a delight to listen to because it’s so soft and ambient.
Navigating through the levels is easy as the controls are simple to use and were clearly designed for a touchscreen. The game is divided into 5 chapters which equates to 40 levels in total. Each level is in chronological order and your goal is to get Lara from the beginning to the end, overcoming various obstacles en route like sneaky enemies and traps. Tomb Raider fans will be happy to see that artifacts and relics play a key role as well.
As a turn-based game, you move Lara along diagonal directions first and all of the obstacles move afterwards. There are different rules for every character, like the snakes can only be attacked from the sides and behind or boulders don’t stop rolling unless you stop them.
Lara’s pistol will take out some enemies, but for the rest you have to work out which objects in the environment around you will best dispatch your foes.
The progression of the game is how all games should be: it starts off slow and is consistently challenging and testing you as you move through the levels. Too many games fall into the trap
If you don’t get all the relics first time round, it’s a good reason to go back and replay some levels. You can earn things through the relics you’ve collected too, like additional outfits for Lara. But if you can’t wait, you can purchase the Square Enix Universe Outfits Pack as well for $1.99 and if you get completely stuck on any level, you can buy a hints pack for $4.99 as well.
All in all
While I’ve only been playing Lara Croft GO for a few days now, I can tell that it’s not one I’m going to ditch in a hurry.
The only thing that I think it’s missing is the option to play in portrait mode, as well as landscape. I have seen some reports of the Game Center integration causing the game to crash, but haven’t had any issues so far.
It’s clearly different to the classic Tomb Raider games, but it’s a great homage that I think any fans of the franchise or puzzle game enthusiasts will enjoy.