Lara Croft GO is the first truly mobile game in the Tomb Raider franchise. It is true that we have had ports of the first two Tomb Raiders, and recent games like Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft: Relic Run. But Lara Croft GO is an original game designed with a truly mobile sensibility.
An unconventional Lara Croft adventure
Lara Croft GO has a simple premise - do not expect the complexity of her console or PC escapades. Here you simply have to find treasures in remote locations as you make your way through the ruins of an ancient civilization. There is no character development, or any real reason for you actions (bar raiding tombz), your goal is just to get the relics. This is still Lara Croft, true, but all of her actions have been rethought for mobile.
Lara Croft GO is designed for mobile from the ground up. It draws on the developer’s previous title, Hitman GO, but the formula has been changed to make the world feel more like a single adventure rather than a collection of individual game boards. Similar changes are seen when Lara moves, she is not a simple piece (an element that continued Hitman GO’s puzzle board game analogy) there are complete animations for her and other characters which integrate into the each scenario’s adventure and the game system.
If you played Hitman GO, then the gameplay will be familiar the moment you pick up Lara Croft GO. The games board offers limited points of movement around a grid with each movement taking a single turn. At first it's easy, but as the game progresses you have to deal with levers, traps and, enemies – all of which seem determined to keep you from your treasure.
Thanks to the game’s turn-based system, foes and traps do not move with Lara, but instead take an action after hers. This forces you to out puzzle enemies, frequently having to pull a lever to open a door before dodging around a foe within a set number of moves before the door closes again.
With the number of moves taken tracked, and plenty of secrets and unlockables (like our favorite the assault graves), there is plenty of reason to revisit every one of Lara Croft GO’s puzzles.
While the fantastic gameplay is certainly a draw, let’s not overlook the game’s wonderful visual style. Similar to titles like Monument Valley, Lara Croft GO embraces a plain visual style, filled with bold color. At first glance it may seem simple, but it is subtly animated and embraces intelligent design to draw your eyes to areas of interests.
Despite its minimalism, each area perfectly evokes the environment it is set in, as fact helped by the understated sound design.
Lara’s littlest adventure
Lara Croft GO is a great game that you can enjoy anytime. With a simple game system, excellent graphics, and gameplay that will keep you hooked to your phone. True, there is less story than fans may be used to, but this is a small sacrifice.