Xbox

Lazy Raiders Review

Lazy Raiders LogoThis lighthearted puzzle-platformer takes the mechanics of your childhood’s marble maze and applies it to the world of treasure hunting. Lazy Raiders has players tilting and turning the world upside-down to help their sluggish hero collect plenty of bounty.

Playing either as Dr. Diggabone—a rotund and moustachioed archaeologist—or as your Xbox LIVE avatar, the goal of the game is to collect gems, keys and idols as rapidly as possible while avoiding traps and obstacles. The gambit of the game is to move your avatar (who does not walk) from one place to another by flipping the maze upside down or tilting it left and right, using gravity and momentum. Read More..

As you play, you will notice a meter keeping track of the time spent solving a puzzle. Find the exit to the maze quickly to finish with a gold, silver or bronze time. Dollars (points) are also earned by collecting gems and idols, destroying all enemies and traps and by avoiding injuries, which all contribute to your overall score and medal ranking.

While trying to get their character to a specific point, players need to be mindful of obstacles and traps along their way. These include fire pits, spiked walls, crushing balls, and suddenly appearing barriers. Flipping the maze can also reveal certain obstacles and traps, which only appear on the “flip side” of the maze. Players must collect a pick axe to unlock the subsequent level, until they reach a sort of boss stage in which Thieves appear.

Thieves—who move like your avatar does—can steal your gems and even collect the Relic, which completes a stage if you are not careful while tilting and flipping. If your avatar comes into contact with a thief, it will get injured. Thieves are affected by traps and should be eliminated by being crushed, burned or poked.

The Default Camera View is Too Small

While there are no difficulty settings to speak of, the 75 levels in Lazy Raiders get progressively harder by adding new traps, enemies and series of colour-coded doors; requiring an increasing amount of careful planning to manoeuvre around. The game also includes five basic tutorial levels to get you started.

Every set of levels take place in one of three environments: the Wild West, the Arctic, or the Seven Cities of Gold. The cartoony graphics are pretty detailed up close, though the default view is very small and hides a lot of intricacies. This could pose a problem for those using a smaller television display, however players can zoom in on the action at will.

There are two control schemes available. The first uses the left analog stick to turn the maze left and right, while the second makes use of the triggers. I found that using the triggers was more intuitive for me. The game includes a light ambient soundtrack, and some funny sounds clips, particularly when Dr. Diggabone gets hurt on a trap. It also contains moderately difficult achievements and online leaderboards.

Lazy Raiders is a truly charming and addictive puzzle game. I saw myself trying levels over and over until finding the right sequence of actions, and very much enjoying the challenge of trying for high scores. This game is simply fun and is sure to bring back some fond memories of your first marble maze.

Positives:

+ Simple, Casual Fun
+ Good Difficulty Progression
+ Lots of Content
+ Uses Avatar, Unlocks Avatar Items and Gamer Pictures


Negatives:

- Default Camera View is Small

StarStarStarStarStar

Game Forward Score: 5/5

Nathalie Caron
> Game Forward

-----

Lazy Raiders (Xbox LIVE Arcade) Quick Facts:

Genre: Puzzle / Platformer
Developer: Sarbakan Game Studio
Publisher: Xbox LIVE Arcade
Release Date: February 24, 2010
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)