Back in November of 2020, Square Enix London and Emerald City Games announced a mysterious new title in the Tomb Raider series called Tomb Raider Reloaded. Not much was known about the game at that time other than it would focus on the “classic Lara Croft" from the earlier entries in the series and was being created from the ground up for mobile. We didn’t hear much about Tomb Raider Reloaded in the time since, but last year Square Enix sold off a bunch of their properties to Embracer Group including the Tomb Raider IP which were now housed under a new company called CDE Entertainment. Now more than two years after its original unveiling CDE and Emerald City have finally launched Tomb Raider Reloaded on iOS and Android devices. Here’s the launch trailer.
If you find yourself thinking “Hey, that looks a lot like Archero with a Tomb Raider skin" yep, you pretty much nailed it. And that’s not a bad thing? This style of bite-sized action and loot-upgrading loop fits rather well in the world of Lara Croft. As I mentioned during the game’s release date announcement a couple of weeks ago, Tomb Raider Reloaded has simultaneously launched as a regular free to play release on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, but also as part of the Netflix Games library with a special Tomb Raider Reloaded Netflix edition.
Strangely though it seems like the only difference between these versions is that you can’t buy IAP in the Netflix one. There’s the same multiple currencies and energy system and other typical free to play stuff in the Netflix release, except it’s almost worse because if you DID feel like buying some IAP to help you advance or because you wanted to take advantage of the various limited time package deals they offer, you just straight up can’t. I fully admit I need to do some more investigating to see if there’s some sort of glaring differences that I’m not seeing yet, but as of right now this almost seems worse than a free to play game that gets rejiggered for Apple Arcade because I’m not really seeing any rejiggering at all.
That oddity aside though, Tomb Raider Reloaded is pretty fun. Each level is just a single room that can take anywhere from a handful of seconds to a minute to complete, which gives the game a nice breezy pace. It’s also surprisingly challenging and strategic as you need to take note of the different enemies and their attacks as well as environmental details and hazards, otherwise your run can end real quick. A near-constant flow of new weapons, equipment, and upgrades keeps the dopamine hits coming, and there’s even a real-deal Lara Croft adventure storyline tying it all together. I can’t say for sure which version I recommend you stick with, and if anyone can determine the major differences between the regular releases and the Netflix one please do let me know, but one way or another Tomb Raider Reloaded is definitely worth checking out.