One of my relatively recent play-throughs, as I catch up on my gaming posts, was Lara Croft GO. This one isn’t a game I’d heard of until it was gifted to me as part of a gift exchange event in a video gaming community I’m in. The person who gifted to me is someone with excellent taste in games and who has a good idea of the sorts of stuff I’d like, and he was totally right! This game is just plain fun!
Lara Croft GO is a deceptively simple puzzle game that features a “turn-based” movement, i.e. you and any other moving elements on the board, can only move one space at a time, which each movement/action counting as a turn. It features, of course, the titular Lara Croft. I found this version of Lara to be an aesthetically pleasing blend of the old and new Lara designs. There is no dialog in the game nor text, so I can’t really make comparisons on the voice. The story is slim, really just Lara doing her tomb raiding thing in some unknown, massive cavern filled with puzzles, critters, and traps to outwit so you can swipe some goodies and cause destruction along the way.
The gameplay is fairly basic. You can walk in four basic directions, can pull levers, push/pull stuff, and throw spears. Jumping and climbing are done automatically by pushing in the direction the action is needed. Likewise, shooting is automatically done if you stand beside something shootable and push the control in that direction. Spears are thrown at your control, with you deciding what to hit, though like movement it only allows you to throw in the four main directions.
At the time I decided to play it, the simplistic, easy to remember controls were exactly what I needed at the end of a long day. I could just chill and focus on solving the puzzles, that primarily involve you figuring out the right sequence and actions needed to get you to the exit. These maneuvers might include using enemies to open buttons or move things for you by taking advantage of their turn-based movement patterns. Even “timed” doors are really turn-based, so you just need to make it in the right number of moves. I streamed some of my play, and my sweetie popped in to watch and even helped me figure out two puzzles that were challenging me extra hard.
In addition to the puzzle aspect, there is a collectibles hunt too, where you try to spot vases hidden in the levels and use the right joystick to move over them to “collect” them. These vases either give a piece of an item related to the chapter you are in, or the gem being collected in that area. I got quite a few but managed to miss a lot too LOL.
The game spans around seven chapters, so hundreds of puzzle rooms to enjoy either in multiple sittings or, if you are so inclined, one longish ten-hour session or so (maybe less if you are faster than me LOL). And yeah, it was a game that I found just plain fun. The right amount of challenge without being so crazy difficult, easy on the hands and wrists, and with some loving little nods to the original Tomb Raider series that fans are sure to enjoy. Apparently the first GO game was based around the Hitman game. I might give it a whirl one of these days too, just because I enjoy Lara Croft GO so much.