Lara Croft Goes Up Against 'Temple Run' On Android, iOS and Windows 8

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Rise of the Tomb Raider
IN PHOTO: Lara Croft stalks her prey in “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” Xbox - http://news.xbox.com

The "Tomb Raider" is one of the oldest running franchises from the mid-90s era of the first truly 3D games. The seminal series spawned an entire generation of third-person action adventure games and other successful franchise such as Uncharted that followed its Indiana Jones inspired theme. Over the decades, the series has been released on every conceivable videogame platform and there have been a fair number of spinoffs. The last one being the successful isometric co-op spinoff dubbed "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light."

The franchise has now landed on the smaller screens with a mobile game that has launched exclusively in the Netherlands, according to Eurogamer. Dubbed as "Lara Croft: Relic Run," the game is clubbed under the "Lara Croft" marque. Publisher Square Enix usually reserves this title for spinoffs, whereas the core games are released under the "Tomb Raider" banner. "Relic Run," as the name suggests, is an adventure-themed endless runner, much in the vein of the popular "Temple Run" games.

Crystal Dynamics, which is also responsible for making the core "Tomb Raider" games, explains that "Lara Croft: Relic Run" is much more than just a "Temple Run" clone during the announcement. The mobile game, however, is developed by Simutronics. The North American game developer is a veteran in the industry and known for old school multi-user dungeon (MUD) games that date back to 1989. The studio's mobile repertoire includes the acclaimed "reverse tower defence" title "Tiny Heroes" and autorunner "One Epic Knight."

The comparisons to "Temple Run," the reigning king of the mobile runners, are inevitable. Gamespot points out that the game goes the extra mile and incorporates a lot more gameplay variety than its main competition. Lara Croft is supposed to be a trained gymnast, so the core running mechanics are enhanced with her repertoire of acrobatic tricks.

The runner isn't just about scurrying through the scenery. It also incorporates combat, which culminate into "epic" boss fights. In fact, the series staple and fan favourite Tyrannosaurus Rex returns as one of the game's bosses. The running sequences are interspersed with vehicular segments to bring some variety to the action.

The autorunner is available for Android, iOS and Windows 8 smartphones and tablets in Netherlands, with a worldwide release promised "in the coming months." These sort of territory-restricted soft releases aren't uncommon for spinoffs of large existing franchises. The publishers usually prefer a limited release as a means to test out the waters and incorporate user feedback from a limited release pool to make changes to the subsequent worldwide release.

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Lara Croft: Relic Run (credit: Raiderszone YouTube channel)

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