Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Review

By , on December 20, 2010

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • New direction for the Tomb Raider series.
  • Unique twin-stick based gameplay.
  • Meaningful co-op (with audio chat).


  • Zoomed perspective causes control and visual issues; jumping and character models poor.


Perhaps it's no major surprise that a twin-stick based re-imagining of Tomb Raider would work so well on iDevices, but Guardian of Light goes the extra distance with a challenging campaign and a fun co-op style for friends to enjoy.

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In what was decidedly an odd new direction for the Lara Croft series, Guardian of Light by SQUARE ENIX didn't exactly wow audiences on the PC/PS3/360, but it definitely turned some heads with its twin-stick inspired gameplay and co-op features. Not to be outdone, the App Store version was recently released and while it's not as pretty as its console cousins it still feels at home on the touch-based platform.

Lara Croft has gone and disturbed an ancient evil once again (though in her defense it was mostly the fault of a rogue band of mercenaries) and she'll have to work with Totec in order to seal the big-bad away once again. The game is played in a fixed semi-isometric perspective and those familiar with twin-stick games will slide right in without much fuss. Additional buttons handily placed around your attack stick provide access to jumping, rolling and your selection of hardware, while environment based interactions can be touched directly on screen. Given the perspective and the floaty jumping style of Lara, navigating complex platforming sequences can be a hairy prospect, but more often than not she'll cling to the side of a climbable surface should you go too far, giving you a chance to recover.

Most of the game is set in an ancient Mayan dungeon and while the lengthy camera perspective results in enemies looking a bit plain-jane, the environments certainly remain top notch. Unfortunately it's this fixed perspective that causes most of the game's irritating troubles as it swings away to lock on to objects such as hook-points. It's not game-breaking, but it can become bothersome during some puzzle sequences throughout the game.

Perhaps the biggest selling point is the co-op gameplay that gives each player a specific tool-set that needs to be executed in harmony to get past the game's various challenges. Additional level challenges also grant access to relics and bonuses to equip on Lara, though this feels somewhat ancillary to the action already available in the game.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light isn't always the smoothest experience, but it's still a welcome change of pace for the series and a great game to share with your friends.


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