by Staff Writer
December 17, 2010
OverviewLara Croft has found a new tomb to raid with plenty of treasures, and it’s the App Store. Lara Croft debuts on iOS devices in an isometric adventure game that the franchise is known for, and it’s developed by Square Enix. Lara begins in The Lost Temple of Light which houses the Mirror of Smoke which contains an evil entity that is released, and will pitch the world into darkness so that sets the stage for the fate of the world to rest with Lara as she tries to be the Guardian of Light.
FeaturesThere are ten chapters each with multiple objectives, and expansive environments. Game Center is included for online high scores and achievements as well as online multiplayer. The online multiplayer allows you to play co-op with anyone online through the entire story which is a first for the Lara Croft franchise.
The GoodThis just may be the most deluxe game in the App Store with such an extensive adventure. Every single chapter offers a different sprawling landscape from jungle to ruins, and tombs. There is just so much room to explore with wide branches off the main path. It’s rather unique for an iOS game to not just have one way forward, and Lara Croft is worth being commended for having such complex level layouts. There are multiple paths to take with many optional detours along the way. This isn’t a game you just blast through, and it will take double digit hours to get through. In every area there is a lot of room to just wander about looking for special items and relics that you wouldn’t see if you just stayed on the main path. The included storyline is very deluxe again for an iOS game, and it will keep you coming back to the extensive adventure. As you’re traveling along you will come across all types of puzzles that require you to move certain items into specific places. Or you will need to use spears to build a ladder for yourself, and the best aspect is that there’s no one right way to make it through particular stretches. You never know what’s around the next bend, and in most areas it’s not obvious what to do. You will also face multiple types of enemies that pop up along the way. You have dual stick controls to slide while shooting, and you face groups of enemies, and never just one at a time. The dodge button may be the most useful as it becomes essential as most enemies you’ll face are huge in comparison to Lara. Every single chapter offers multiple objectives of reaching certain score plateaus, collecting specific ruins, as well as mini-challenges, for example crossing a river without touching water. Playing through solo is one thing, but finding a friend to play with makes the game a whole new experience. The game doesn’t offer the most technically advanced visuals you’ll see on iOS, but every environment is very ornate. The isometric viewpoint gives you a wide view of the well done environments with each one completely different.
The BadThe control system is quite spread out so that it covers up a significant portion of the screen. There are a lot of little buttons placed all around that aren’t made for the touch screen, but they’re placed well to get the job done. Switching weapons is a bit of a hassle in game, and in the inventory, but you don’t need to do it very often. Controlling the direction of jumps can be somewhat difficult so you can miss gap jumps or jumping up a ladder of spears. The graphics are well done, but not the best we’ve seen, and not retina quality. The soundtrack offers a nice ancient jungle type theme, but it cuts out from time to time leaving you only with swamp type sound effects. The camera angle offers a wide view most of the time to always see plenty of the surroundings. Occasionally though it shifts when running into special action items which can cause Lara to be out of the picture, or other action elements.
The VerdictLara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the most deluxe adventure game yet to grace iOS. There are such expansive environments with so much room to explore, items to collect, and variability of never knowing what’s coming next. The game offers a great balance of solving situational puzzles, and fighting enemies as you journey through a deluxe storyline you’ll want to complete. There are a few problems with the controls, and the visuals and sounds are somewhat lacking. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is definitely worth picking up for $6.99 offering up some of the most lengthy and enjoyable content around.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
SQUARE ENIX Ltd
SQUARE ENIX Co., LTD.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light HD
SQUARE ENIX Ltd