TNW’s Apps of the Year: Lara Croft GO is the smartest and most visually enticing puzzler since Monument Valley

TNW’s Apps of the Year: Lara Croft GO is the smartest and most visually enticing puzzler since ...

In our Apps of the Year series, The Next Web team shares personal recommendations for our favorite apps of 2015. 

I wasn’t a fan of previous Tomb Raider games but I do love puzzle games, so when Square Enix decided to take Lara Croft down that route, I was curious to try it out and the game immediately won me over.

Available for Android, iOS, Windows and Windows Phone, this turn-based game is a thing of beauty and deserved of its title as Apple’s Game of the Year.

The game is divided into 6 chapters, equalling 101 puzzles in total. The aim of the game is to get Lara from the beginning to the end, overcoming various obstacles en route like sneaky enemies and traps. For the most part this is done through solving puzzles, but her pistol is needed to get by some sneaky enemies as well.

Navigating the game is simple, you move Lara along diagonally first and all of the obstacles in her path move afterwards. There are different rules for every character, like the snakes can only be attacked from the sides and behind, and boulders don’t stop rolling unless you stop them.

True to its Tomb Raider roots, artifacts and relics play a key role in the game as well.

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The game might appear to be easy at first but be warned, it gets consistently more challenging as you progress through the levels so it’s worth sticking with it.

If you do end up stuck on any one level, Square Enix has a hints pack you can buy separately for $4.99. You can also purchase a new outfits pack for Ms Croft for $1.99 if the traditional tank and shorts combo isn’t what you’re into.

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The visuals and soundtrack of Lara Croft GO have played a huge part in me becoming a fan of the game. Its style is not what you’d expect from the Tomb Raider franchise – it’s soft and whimsical like Monument Valley. The levels are rich in color and detail, with each individual character having their own style.

The soundtrack complements the game’s progression and design perfectly. It’s both soft and ambient, without being forgettable. All big games, like Final Fantasy VII, have a recognizable soundtrack, so Square Enix was right to invest in this.

Lara Croft GO isn’t just a game for Tomb Raider fans though, it serves as a great introduction to the franchise for people who might not have given it a look before. And even if Lara Croft wasn’t such a well-known character, the game itself will appeal to anyone who appreciates good design or puzzle games.

Lara Croft GO ($4.99) [iOS | Android]

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