Here’s a quick hit for those of you who have the latest mobile tech and no games for it! For a gamer (and I know you’re a gamer) to not have games on your phone? Embarrassing! So, let me give you the rundown on a classic favorite mixed with a modern rage-inducing running game that we all love to hate!
Lara Croft: Relic Run is actually made by Square Enix (Lara no longer belongs to Crystal Dynamics, sorry) who did an amazing job keeping up with the best of our girl. I’m sure you have played Temple Run (or at least watched a friend rage quit over it) or some other running spinoff but THIS is Lara friggin Croft. That means skin tight outfits, dual pistols, and random action scenes that normal people would instantly die from! Even when you rage quit (and you WILL…oh yes) you just won’t be able to let it go.
The intent here is to find a missing friend who has left clues of relics behind. Each relic found unlocks the next relic to be found. So, instead of simply collecting coins and using them for modifiers (outfits in Lara’s case), you also have to look out for these relics to advance to the next level (or purchase it of course). So, obviously, you expect to run through obstacles and the like BUT the reason this will keep your attention longer it because Lara is not your average runner, nor is she helpless in this mission. You will have parkour moments where the camera will literally turn to show the movement in slow motion, wall running, vine swinging, ATVs, random strange mythical beasties to shoot, and even our old friend the T-Rex. There are also gaps in sections that are like mini cutscenes which totally throws you off as to when you should start swiping again but eventually, you will get it (I said eventually, the rage quit is real). Our boys at Square have done a damn good job, and even when you die, you get full ragdoll physics so you can watch Lara die in her classic style (Can’t you tell that’s my favorite part?). The time will fly as this will hold your gaze and have you screaming “but I swiped LEFT!” all night long…as only Lara can…
These graphics, being made to suit almost all mobile devices, will remind you of a PlayStation 2. That is actually amazing, considering we are entertained by far less most of the time. I usually play this game on my tablet (the bigger screen makes me at least FEEL like I have a leg up) and I have not had any rendering issues to slow down my reaction time or glitch the game into killing me (video games don’t kill people, lag does…truth). Those cutscenes I told you about? On. Point. You’ve got some beautiful woodlands, waterfalls, and ancient crumbling stone. This is actually too good when you first start because you don’t know what’s an obstacle and what’s not. You can be blinded on one side by a beautiful giant leaf and run straight into a stone pillar. The layout of some of the trees will make you think it is an obstacle when, in fact, Lara will grab onto the branch and swing from it. Basically, they may have done a little TOO good…but hey, it makes the rage all the more legit.
Our sound quality is your normal drum background that gives you that “running through the rainforest escaping with the crystal skull Indiana Jones feeling” (specific right?) and is pretty standard in almost all of these running games. However, I tend to turn the music off to focus and that’s when I noticed the birds and rushing water sounds. They really dug deep and put layers of sound instead of your average looping track with all effects included. Lara doesn’t talk much outside of the intro, but you can hear her grunts and gunshots perfectly. No sound lag at all. They did a wonderful job with it, but it could always be better. Maybe, in the sense that this is for mobile, they could have given you some choices to change the music. In any case, it’s satisfying.
Although we may all be numb to these simplified mobile games and how addicting they can be to the younger crowd, we should still embrace our love of gaming and check things out. Call yourself a gamer? Have games everywhere. All. The. Time. Trust me, if you can master these hand-eye coordination rituals, you’ll be a professional player forever. Give it a try and see what I mean. You won’t regret it.
Keep Your Eyes on this Prize8
Gameplay score 8
Graphics score 8
Music & SFX score 6