Square Enix announced Tuesday the release of the very first Tomb Raider, the initial game in a long-running franchise that has spawned sequels across console platforms, PC, the Mac, and even a couple of movies.
The release today to the iPhone and iPad is a direct port of the original game, complete with charming old school graphics and gameplay. And buttons. Lots of crappy virtual onscreen buttons.
Even though there are a ton of games out there that have refined this type of gameplay that you can get for a similar price, you’ll surely get to see where this popular genre got its start.
The first game was a huge hit when it debuted on the PC, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation platforms, helping ship over 100 million of the latter console in the mid-1990s.
In it, you’ll guide Lara Croft through a series of 3D tombs and other jungle locations, killing dangerous animals and other humans to win her way to the final prize artifact. The 3rd person gameplay was, at the time, fairly innovative, especially as it mixes plenty of platforming, an up until then feature of 2D games like Prince of Persia.
Putting this all onto a device that fits in your pocket is pretty amazing, showing just how far gaming has come.
Here’s the situation, from the App Store description:
Adventurer Lara Croft has been hired to recover the pieces of an ancient artefact known as the Scion. With her fearless acrobatic style she runs, jumps, swims and climbs her way towards the truth of its origin and powers – leaving only a trail of empty tombs and gun-cartridges in her wake. On this trail are breath-taking 3D worlds where exploration, puzzle and platform elements blend in a seamless real-time environment. A perfect chance for newcomers and diehards alike to jump back into the series’ seminal single-player action.
Of course, tapping that many virtual buttons is going to be tricky at best, but owning this bit of gaming history is worth it at a nice $0.99 price point. If nothing else, Square Enix has included support for the latest iOS 7 controller schemes, so if you’ve shelled out $100 for the only available physical controller, what’s an extra buck?
Tomb Raider is available as a universal app, playable on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, in the App Store for $0.99 right now. Whether it’s worth a dollar to you or not is totally up to you.