Lara Croft GO: short but sweet
The App Army Assembles
Each week, we ask members of our App Army for their feedback on the latest and greatest releases on mobile.
One top pick this week was Square Enix Montréal's Lara Croft GO.
Let's see what our App Army had to say...
Okay, I'm finding Lara Croft GO amazing so far. Really captures the feel of the Tomb Raider series.
Yup, this is great. Feels much more open than Hitman GO, which is great as adventuring is what Tomb Raider's all about.
So far I've only been working out simple puzzles, although they are getting more tricky.
I love the attention to detail that's been put in here, like bugs scuttling along the foreground.
This really wasn't what I was expecting. For some reason I had it in my mind that this was a twin stick shooter like Guardian of Light.
Instead it's a puzzle game where you move one square at a time to progress through each level.
I haven't come across any that have stumped me yet, but I can't wait to see how this pans out.
Considering this is premium I'm really surprised that there are so many IAPs for outfits and hints. They're pretty expensive too.
Buying hints in a premium game is okay, especially for hard puzzle games like this. That way if you're stumped on a particular section, you can still complete it by paying for hints.
The outfits are more perplexing to me - they just seem unnecessary.
As someone who loves cosmetic items in games, I can see the appeal. In fact, it seems more logical to have them than IAP hints when you can just search for a walkthrough online.
Ah, I'm in love with this game. It's so pretty, and the difficulty is just right. I'm two and a half hours in yet the game keeps on giving. I don't think I'm getting any sleep tonight!
I just realised that those vases scattered around can be broken for relics and gems. I guess I'm going to have to go back and do a whole bunch of puzzles all over again...
I know how you feel Redinorun - I'd want to do the same thing!
So it looks good, the controls are fluid, and the overall presentation is very slick. I'm finding that trial and error works well with getting through the levels too.
It's fine as a game, but I feel as if I've played games like this a thousand times before. There's nothing new here, but what it does do it does very well.
Still enjoying this. It's a puzzler that's similar to Hitman GO, and that's fine with me. Love the sound design in Lara Croft GO too. Really crisp.
Completed it! That was shorter than I was expecting, and I only got stuck once. I really hope that there are plans to expand Lara Croft GO as I'd love to play more.
Lara Croft GO is really atmospheric. The intricacies of what's going on in the background and how your choices may lead to unexpected repercussions is very clever.
It's like a developer finally decided to really put some effort into an iOS game and make it both fun and challenging for once.
I know many of you are digging this game, but I'm just not feeling it. It's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not breaking any new ground either.
How long did it take to beat Sjoerd?
Not sure Danny! it's so beautiful that I lost track of time while I was playing, but it still felt too short overall. I never really felt challenged as I only got stuck once for a couple of minutes.
It was heaps of fun to play through, but I'm really put off by a premium game like this having IAPs.
I'm over halfway in now if the books are anything to go by. I'm now feeling I should slow down more so as not to not finish it so fast.
I'm sure Hitman GO didn't take as long to complete... it was more difficult though!
There are only 34 levels, but they're all mostly divided into three stages, so there are essentially 100 puzzles to solve.
A fair bit shorter than Hitman GO then?
Yes, but Hitman GO has two hefty updates under its belt.
I love the clever set pieces. Some are very well put together.
I'm still trying to complete Lara Croft GO. The game is fine, just nothing special in my opinion. I bet there are plenty of people out there who are going to love this though.
I've not got as far as you guys but I'm really loving the game. The overall feel of it is sublime. The character animation and slick visuals are particularly impressive.
There's no denying its slick, well animated, with great controls and visuals. It' s just that for me it feels as if something is missing. Can't quite put my finger on it.
Probably down to me being really old and having played far too many games over the years. I was hoping for something different.
I can see many people enjoying this too, but I think that all depends on how much they're willing to pay.
Gold, baby! It looks awful in game... but it's gold!
How did you unlock that Sjoerd?
You have to collect all the gems in each chapter, by which I mean tapping on all the hidden pottery in each level. Took me a while.
Ah, I won't be doing that then.
It's probably not worth it!
Lara was a great choice for the second instalment in the GO series. I can't decide whether this or Hitman GO is best as they are both thoroughly enjoyable in different ways.
This game's stunning to say the least. The animation here makes the game come to life, be it the way a beetle moves across a wall, or how the fauna sways to and fro. Even the grace of Lara's actions are beautiful.
I love how the puzzles make me tap my chin and say to myself "hmm, this is pretty challenging" as I die, then try a different route to complete the level.
In addition to each level's route, you also have to factor in the gems and relic pieces that can be collected to unlock outfits. I like to switching into new outfits each time I reach new checkpoints.
I love Lara! There I said it, I've actually not played any Tomb Raider games since the second instalment, and after switching to mobile I figured I would never have access to any more good Lara Croft games.
I'll say this much: the game helps scratch that Tomb Raider itch I've been holding onto for years. It's a gorgeous game and the old girl hasn't aged a day since 1996.
Visually you're given a fantastic view of lost cities and ancient temples, the sound is great and controls are top notch but that may be because it's not really a complicated game.
Gameplay is not what you'd come to expect from the First Lady of adventuring, as it borrows most of its mechanics from Hitman GO. This means less action, but heaps more puzzles.
It's a fun game to take your time with, exploring each area as you go. There's tons to find and all manner of outfits to unlock, but don't expect to be getting to huge battles or firefights with gangs of gunmen cause it ain't that type of rodeo.
Fans of Lara Croft should pick this up, but fans of action games might want to pass on this one.
What impresses me most about Lara Croft GO is the visuals. They are just breathtaking. There's a great amount of detail on show, while the "edgy" look still makes it feel simplistic. This combined with the atmospheric music really sets the mood for your journey.
Gameplay-wise the game feels great and the puzzles are just difficult enough to make you ponder, but easy enough to keep you going. New mechanics are gradually introduced, so it never gets boring.
Although there's a tiny bit of background story, I wish it were a little bit more complex in that department. Yes, the tension with the monster builds up, but the story just doesn't live up to the atmosphere and puzzles.
After completing the game in one night as well as finding all the hidden gems and relics, I can say the game has a decent length, but it doesn't feel nearly long enough. It would be great if the developers kept adding new adventures.
Yes, I really hope the devs add more content too. I've really really enjoyed this game on the whole. It suits both pick up and play as well as longer gaming sessions.
The whole concept works perfectly on mobile, I think it's the things you take for granted that show just how polished this game is - controls are flawless and the art and animation is beautiful and absorbing.
Well, I can say that there's some entertainment value here in dropping back in every now and then to finish another level.
On my scale of retention I'd put this in the range of "quite happy to leave it on my iPhone until I need the space for something else."
Lara Croft GO isn't perfect, but what it does well is incredible!
With intuitive puzzles, addictive gameplay, and absolutely stunning art work, this is one mightily impressive package.
Perhaps what's most impressive of all though, is how Square Enix have infused Lara Croft GO with a level of polish that only the very best games can match. Mobile or otherwise.
I couldn't put my iPad down from the moment I started playing it. Sure, this isn't the longest game in the world, but the fact that I finished the game in a single sitting speaks volumes.
On the flip side, the campaign's brevity will be an issue for some, particularly for a premium game, but hopefully Square will add more content in the future.
With just two titles to date, Square Enix Montréal's GO franchise is still in its infancy, but whether experienced or casual, mobile gamers should really should be taking note of this increasingly impressive series.
No one can deny that Lara Croft GO looks beautiful. It has a well-polished artstyle, and every time a new level loads up, you'll have to hold your breath for the utterly awesome visuals that show up.
Although it delivers the same concept as Hitman GO, it surely feels like a totally different game. Sadly, there are some things that really frustrate me.
The first thing is the IAPs. For a premium game with a price tag of $4.99, there really shouldn't be this level of moneygrabbing.
Secondly, the game is rather short, or at least it feels like it's short. When I completed it I asked myself "is that it?" The chief problem here is that it never really gets challenging as Hitman GO did.
Being shorter and easier than Hitman GO may be an upside for some people, but for now I'd keep an eye out for a price drop or more level packs in a future update.The App Army have spoken! If you'd like to sign up, please have a gander at our App Army application article. Did you pick up Lara Croft GO? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
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