Tomb Raider on iOS is great, but you'll want a controller

Pretty much unplayable with touch controls



10:00 AM on 12.18.2013

In case you haven't heard, the original Tomb Raider is available on iOS for a buck. I was trying it out yesterday, and I have to say, so long as you're using a controller option, the game works like a charm. The only hangup you may have are the so called "tank controls," where Lara can only walk forward in the direction she is facing, but those are pretty easy to adjust to if you've played anything from that era.

The big elephant in the room is touch controls. If you don't own a pricey and widely unsupported $100 iOS controller, you're basically screwed. The tank controls are a nightmare while having to deal with multiple virtual buttons, and I almost get nauseous just looking at the above header. Not only does Tomb Raider require precision in just about every jump halfway into the game, but the fun diving function is also borked on virtual controls -- kids, just don't do it.

Thankfully, the original Tomb Raider still stands up, as the level designs and setpieces in general are solid. It helps that it includes Lara's Mansion to play around in, which should help reacquaint you with the basics. It also comes with Tomb Raider Gold - The Shadow Of The Cat ("Unfinished Business" outside of America), which are a collection of extra challenging levels many people have never played.

It's conspicuously named "Tomb Raider I" on iTunes, so I really hope there's a II in the works with controller support. Not only is it my favorite game in the series, but the expanded Lara's Mansion would make for some great quick-play material. Plus, who doesn't love locking the Butler in the freezer?


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Chris Carter

Reviews Director