The subject of countless articles, films, magazine covers and sexual fantasies, the Tomb Raider action-adventure game series and its heroine the lovely Lara Croft have attained considerable popular fame.
However, considering that amidst the gaming community many versions are as famous for their skittish controls as their buxom heroine, the prospect of piloting Miss Croft with nothing but a mobile keypad seems a daunting one. In truth we needn't have worried - iomo has produced arguably the friendliest iteration of Lara's adventures to date and a damned good 2D platform game to boot.
Before you start the game proper it wisely provides a compulsory training level which introduces the different controls which allow you to climb ladders, push boulders, leap across platforms and of course dispatch defenceless animals as you go treasure hunting. Fortunately it's all quite simple with the use of a context sensitive action key ensuring that those using a joystick will only have to refer to one button on the main number pad.
Once you've traversed the basics, (and you can always go back later for another intro if you forget anything) you have the option of the full on adventure spread over multiple levels of increasingly fiendish tombs, an arcade mode to play through a specific level or the panic-inducing time trial. The latter is particularly welcome offering a great variation on the challenge by populating a training level with snakes and zombies and challenging you to repeatedly run the gauntlet in order to shave a few seconds off your personal best (ours was 2 minutes 35 seconds if you're interested).
Whatever option you plump for though you're guaranteed an enjoyable and well-balanced challenge. The levels are genuinely varied and offer a good mix of head-scratching problems and panicky shoot-'em-up action packed into handy 3-5 minute chunks (perfect for cigarette-breaks, or those angry few seconds after the neighbour's dog binds you in its lead, Mrs. Jones has finished apologising profusively, and you feel like putting a few things down).
Graphically the game may not offer the usual buttock-gazing stimulation but a nicely animated cartoony Croft is pleasing enough, and all in all this a worthy addition to the ever growing cannon.
7 / 10