Lara Croft: Relic Run Review - a solid endless runner full of challenges and adventure

Lara Croft: Relic Run hit the Windows Phone Store a few weeks ago and offers a challenging endless runner game to pass the time with. You play the role of Lara Croft and help guide her through ancient locations where she jumps over, under and around various dangers.

You collect clues and power-ups to help you survive the journey with hopes to uncover ancient relics. Each location will feature unique game play elements and boss fights. Graphics are good, gaming mechanics simple and the challenges of Lara Croft: Relic Run will keep you on your toes.

The downside of things is that the Windows Phone game isn't available for low-memory devices. The upside is that it is a free Xbox title and is one of the more challenging endless runner games I've played.

Once Lara Croft: Relic Run loads, you will be greeted with the games' main menu. The menu offers up options to choose your world, access the game's store, view the leaderboard, view your achievements, view the relics you have collected and access the game's settings.

Lara Croft: Relic Run

You will also find a pull-out menu at the bottom of the screen to view Lara Croft's gear and one at the top to see any messages you have.

The game's store is where you can spend the coins and diamonds you earn during game play on equipment upgrades, power-ups and new outfits for Ms. Croft. Game settings are somewhat minimal with options to skip or reset the tutorial, turn on or off the Parkour slow motion, choose your language and link the game to your Facebook account (optional). The game will automatically find your Xbox gamer tag and make that association.

Lara Croft: Relic Run

Lara Croft: Relic Run has two worlds to run through with a third marked as "Coming Soon". You begin the game racing through the jungles and a desert world becomes available when you find 15 relics (or spend 500 diamonds to unlock immediately).

Relic Run will start game play with a short tutorial that covers the moves needed to have Croft navigate past the various dangers. The mechanics of the game are gesture based and not unlike other endless runner games we have seen before. You swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide or jump down quickly and swiping left/right will move Croft accordingly.

Lara Croft: Relic Run

Additionally, a series of Parkour moves will launch for certain obstacles. If enabled in the settings, when these movements are initiated Croft goes into slow motion to give the game a nice visual.

The gestures are responsive most of the time, but I did experience a few misreads and times where the gestures did not register at all. These misreads can be a little frustrating and often results in Lara Croft running head first into a boulder.

Along with running Lara Croft through the ancient worlds, you will have the opportunity to hop on a four-wheeler or motorcycle to help you conquer the terrain in a speedier fashion. To further help with the variety of the game, you will also run through areas where you have to shoot monsters who are trying to ruin your day.

Lara Croft: Relic Run

Should Lara Croft meet her fate by missing a jump, running into a wall or by any of the other dangers she will face you can resurrect her by spending a resurrection Ankh (token). Each resurrection will double the cost and if you run out of tokens, you can pick more up in the game's store.

The game will have supply drops periodically to give your coin or gem count a small boost. At the end of each game, you will see your scoring summary with store purchase opportunities and a play again button. Be cared in tapping the play again button because it sits close enough to the purchase button for the gaming store ad that you may inadvertently buy a new pair of boots instead of relaunching the game.

Overall Impressions

While I liked Lara Croft: Relic Run, it is one of the more challenging endless runner games I've played. The graphics are well drawn up, but the shadows of the jungle often hide dangers. This minimizes your reaction time that often sees Lara Croft missing a jump and falling to her doom at the bottom of a crevice.

As far as gaming performance and stability is concerned, the initial load times can be lengthy and I did experience a slight graphics lag when first starting game play. You also have the occasional issues with the movement gestures and hopefully a little under the hood fine-tuning can fix these issues. While they can be frustrating, I don't think any are deal breakers for the game.

Where Despicable Me: Minion Rush is a light-hearted, fun endless runner game, Lara Croft: Relic Run has a little more bite and challenge to it. I do like the four-runner and motorcycles that come into play, but wish Lara Croft would continue her run if you crash the vehicle.

All in all, Lara Croft: Relic Run joins a crowded field of endless runner games available in the Windows Phone Store but has plenty of features to help the game stand out from the crowd. One can hope that low-memory support is in the works to allow the game to be enjoyed across the full Windows Phone device range.

If you have tried Lara Croft: Relic Run, let us know what you think of the Xbox gaming title in the comments below.

Download Lara Croft: Relic Run for Windows Phone (Free)

QR: Lara Croft Relic Run

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

64 Comments
  • It's not working properly in my Lumia 930
  • It's a bit laggy on my L1520.
  • It works perfect on my Lumia 930.
  • Works almost fine on my 930 too, except that it shows no mercy on the battery. It requires some serious optimization here. I also agree with George about slight lag issue at times and movement gestures.
  • Yes, battery drains drastically when playing this game and I can not understand why, because I had games with much greater graphics and they would not make any sense drastically sense. Consersing about the lags, yes, everytime I start this game I get 1-2 seconds lag at the of run. After that game plays perfect. Does anyone could tell me how to send curses?
  • Works flawlessly on Lumia 830
  • It's laggy on my Lumia 730 as well
  • Excellent on my lumia 1520 not running preview
  • Yeah laggy a bit... And its hard to play
  • Awesome!
  • many lags o my 925
  • Laggy on L1520
  • My 1520 also laggs, what the hell?.. I'm mean it's playable but frames drop here and there and that's awful in a runner game
  • Waiting For an update to fix the lag.
  • I played this game, and like the article states, you may miss some jumps out slides due to the forest and shadowing. However, this game is fun and challenging, versus other endless runners. I have only tried one other endless runner, an older one but it wasn't as challenging. Also, I'm an old fan of Lara Croft games and this game brings me back.
  • Lags on 1520...Subway Surfers is a better game.
  • Not better but just a different type of runner.
  • Its not one of the best its actually the best of all running games. I have been playing for the time it launched its fantastic and truly challenging
  • I agree. Better than many runners. Wall running, ATV, rope hanging etc.
  • This game takes you back to the StoneAge...i.e. Temple Run
  • Great game, reminds me of the original Tomb Raider games. There are bits in PC/Console Tomb Raiders where lara has to just run and avoid all kind of obstacles, boulders, animals, arrows shooting at her... Either you time your movements or you're dead. Lara fits in endless runner genre.
  • Graphics are awesome, but performance needs a ton of optimization.
    Poorly ported unfortunately.
    Lags, stutter, crashes and atrocious batter drain even on high-end phones.
    Also, one unantainable achievements and bugs like free resend of a curse still costing money, curses survived not counted and credited properly, etc.
  • Agreed.
  • The touch response sucks sometimes :P but yeah, one of the tougher games out there....
  • Has some lags need to be fixed
  • Game would be awesome if it wasn't a lag fest on Lumia 930. As soon as you pass 100k+ Mark(don't know the exact distance) the game starts to lag more and more. Also the phone heat's up like crazy and the battery dies very fast. They need to fix that asap.
  • Heat is the reason for lag. Just for testings sake, hold the phone in front of an air conditioning duct and then try.
  • What about 512 MB ram device support????
  • You'll have to hope they optimize it for 512MB devices. Then again, if the game is gonna stutter so much on 1GB+ RAM devices, don't hold your breath.
  • Anyone here got the 6 curses achievement?
  • haha as far as I know there is only 5 curses available so you cna't get that achievement. Also there is a bug on Jumper achievement, I did it multiple times and never got it. Actually game has a lot of bugs and pefrormance issues, wich is a shame because it's a great game.
  • No, the Jumper achievement is difficult, you get it only after the 3000m mark.
  • It's a bug because achievment says run 1500 meters in one run without sliding. So you should get it after 1500, if not it's a bug
  • Temple run oz and brave are free until tomorrow
  • I really like this game, but the main reason I fail at it is because it lags and won't react to my inputs.  Very frustrating :/
  • Its an awesome game best endless runner game I have ever played
  • Played it a few times and i have to say its quite impressive, definitely one of the better ERs I have played. Graphically its well done but as others have said, it does lag abit on my 1020 so it needs more optimization.
  • Challenging is certainly true, it's a toughie. But still has me constantly coming back.
  • Very poor response considering the fact that its an Xbox title. The game could be enjoyed more of the responses become as good as Temple Run2 which is also an Xbox title for Windows phone users. The graphics are good just the swipes and jumps do not respond as and when required this killing Lara and forcing one to use ankhs to revive her. I found the lag in my old Lumia 920 and my current Lumia 640XL.
  • I'm not a great fan of endless runner games but this one looks fantastic.
     
  • This review was spot on! Exactly how I would have review this game. I am glad I wasn't the only one experiencing the control issues, initial long loading times and lag, and hard to see obstacles. I find the obstacles and the controls to be the most frustrating. I still play it BC its Laura Croft, but I was hoping for an actual Tomb Raider game, not another endless runner game.
  • Lags on my 830. And I played the iOS version which seems to have slightly more features
  • It take some time to load, but works great on 535. 5/5 for game.
  • Please....give..512mb support
  • I like this game so I was delighted to read that the issues I've experienced are not caused by my aging! I've experienced everything mentioned here on my 930, but for me I only see lagging on the first game after start-up, so I usually just let Lara run into something quickly and then all games after the first play without lagging. I do have the problem with misreads of my gestures which I had attributed to a slowing of hand-eye coordination. So I am happy to know that is not the sole cause. Despite these problems I still enjoy the game and even as many times as I've played it, it seems new scenes for Lara to run through still show up to surprise me. I also like the little touches: shoot the dinosaur with Lara's pistols and he reacts as if you've just annoyed him, and then he eats you. It was a funny way to get me to spend some coin and upgrade the weapons. This is the best of the Lara Croft games I've played beyond the main titles.
  • Its running great first 20 munutes begore game pverheats.
  • Two words describe this game 'Lag' and 'Stutter'. Any reason every 'run' game runs like crap on Windows Phone?
  • Great game but lagging on Lumia 930
  • Lagging on my phone too, but am enjoying temple run brave & oz which i got for free!
  • Awesome game
  • Temple run with boobs.
  • Game needs some stability improvements
  • Im using lumia735. It really lags. Sometimes my inputs dont read well. And combined with the very nice graphics that elude the surrounding, I often just get killed. It makes the game really difficult. And for some reason, her aim sucks i cant seem to kill a lot of monsters.
  • Someone Pls rate or feedback developer for support of 512 MB RAM
  • Chơi trên Lumia 640 không được mượt cho lắm ( Lag ) . Có một vài chỗ hình ảnh hiển thị chưa được rõ nét . Hiệu ứng Slow Motion khá ấn tượng :)
  • Laggy on my Lumia 730 un installing
  • It lags it lags it lags it drains it drains it drains it's fun its fun its fun though
  • I use L735
  • The best part about this game is that it is not easy! Easy endless runners tend to get boring real fast but this will keep you thinking. There are many upgrades including weapons and outfits that provide protection and the graphics, especially for the Parkour moves sets this game apart from all the other endless runners I've played. There's also a storyline to it, which again, isn't something that's normally associated with this particular genre. Worth the download.
  • This game is fantastic but it runs poorly on my 640XL at the points it gets unplayable. Just waiting for an update, I'm faithful
  • Lag on 1520..the game is quite challenging than temple run, subway run & other endless runners which is good :) i hope there'll be improvements. P/s:- anyone have any idea why my xbox mobile game achievements didn't sync anymore with the xbox game app? I unlocked quite many achievements and it just wont show up. My point stuck at 3065
  • Is the proxy trick working for downloading 1gb games for 512 mb phones? :O
  • lags on 930 and drains better too much quickly