Developer: SQUARE ENIX
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

It’s not an iPhone exclusive, but Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is the first game with the famous heroine to hit the App Store. Fans excited for a third person adventure like the original Tomb Raider games will be disappointed in finding that this iteration of Lara is a dual stick shooter, but don’t fret, Guardian of LIght has a good history. The game from which it was ported (same title) has received almost unanimous acclaim from PSN and XBox Live reviewers, and is coming to the iPhone as an almost exact clone. These are good things.

As expected, Lara Croft arrives with all the polish that one would expect from a big time developer. The textures are all very well done, the lighting is spot on, and the animations all look great. Even Lara, from your isometric birds eye view, looks like a butt kicking heroine. The game doesn’t have any snappy hi-res cut scenes which is unfortunate (I was just playing NOVA 2… great cut scenes), but the story and adventure are all typical for the series.

Guardian of Light takes Lara (and Toltec if you are playing the amazing coop multiplayer) through ancient ruins, dense jungles, challenging puzzles, and more spiked pits than you can shake a fist at. Each level will last the average gamer around 10-20 min, but there are plenty of secondary objectives that you can try to beat for extra score. There are also plenty of weapons to collect, as well as some neat artifacts that you can use to boost your abilities.

Fans of dual stick shooters will be treated with possibly the most polished birds eye shooter in the App Store. It isn’t quite the old school Tomb Raider game that I was hoping for, but Guardian of Light is an excellent game that will please any Tomb Raider fan. If the price seems daunting, remember that this exact game can be had for $15 on PC, PSN, or XBLA. Half off the cover price seems like a sweet deal – don’t compare this to a typical iOS game for price.

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