Developer: Namco Networks America Inc. Games
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Imagine Harrison Ford, whip and archaeological smirk at the ready, simply standing around while all manner of legendary treasures come to him. Doesn’t make for exciting cinema, does it? Okay, but now imagine that Mr. Ford is instead a drowsy and portly man with a remarkable moustache and that getting him to adventure means rotating a series of ancient mazes and traps around his rotund frame. It’s far more enjoyable, and it doesn’t resort to using a refrigerator as a fallout shelter!

So as I’ve mentioned, the bulky of Lazy Raiders’ gameplay revolves around revolving. The disinterested adventurer just stands around doing nothing. It’s the player’s job to spin the world – via touch control dragging or device tilting – so that the lazy jerk slides, falls, and otherwise moves around the level. Double-tapping to “flip” the stage around, thus making some quick turns and opening the occasional pathway, is also necessary. The ultimate goal is to grab colored keys to unlock their corresponding gates and eventually reach the Golden Pick or ancient treasure at the end of the level, but that only completes the level. In order to get high scores and collect all three hidden idols players will have to do all that while simultaneously collecting all the scattered gems as quickly as possible. That’s the real challenge. Especially once traps start to make an appearance.

Simply getting through a given level can be relatively entertaining, but the most fun I’ve had with Lazy Raiders is in chasing those hidden idols. They only appear once enough gems have been gathered quickly enough, and are often in some pretty sneaky places. It adds a completely different layer to the gameplay of most stages. For example, one level was a fairly simple series of twists and turns while avoiding a couple basic traps before reaching the exit. Nabbing the idols in that same level, on the other hand, required carefully positioning a rolling boulder (it moves as the level is rotated) so that it squashes a spike trap in order to speed up the archaeologist tossing. Paths that are completely lined with spikes can be similarly rendered harmless with a well-rolled big rock.

Lazy Raiders is a prime example of a fun and engaging puzzle game. The tilt controls are a little awkward to use simply because they involve constantly turning the device end-over-end, but they work well enough and aren’t the only option. Really, aside from the storage requirements (700+ MB!) there’s little to no reason for puzzle and even ball-in-maze lovers to pass this one by.


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