Lazy Raiders is a unique, fun puzzler for Xbox Live Arcade from the developer Sarbakan Game Studios, whose other titles include a plethora of board games turned video games for many downloadable platforms. It is odd in this respect to see them put out Lazy Raiders, a game that really is unique in style, and one of a kind for this platform. It seems to be that the company is trying to work break out on its own, and I must say that they are doing a very good job at it.
The game really doesn’t have a story; it’s all about the game play here. You can play as either your Avatar or Dr. Digabone, who besides a clever name is an explorer who only loves one thing: treasure. So, your whole goal in the game is to acquire enough idols to be able to get into the main treasure rooms, which contain the relics you need to proceed. There are sixteen treasure rooms, so in turn there are sixteen relics and end levels. However, to get to each treasure room you need to go through fifty nine other rooms, totaling seventy five rooms in all, and across three different themed landscapes. So, you are going to be spending quite a lot of time with this game.
However, it is best played in short bursts, and can get sort of repetitive at times, which warrants this play style. It has a very pick up and play style to it, and it very easy to control, but at the same time can be sort of frustrating. The problem is that the controls can very touchy. Even the slightest move can be miscalculated, and can end in you having to restart the level. Also, it can be hard to see what is happening on the screen, so I advise anyone trying to play this game on an SDTV to beware. All in all, this game with be a huge time sync for those who keep with it.
The game play can get pretty complex, so here a quick rundown to all the elements that you need to keep track of. In the lower levels, you earn money to collect idols; you earn this money by collecting gems, and you earn enough idols, you can advance to the treasure rooms. Every level has a golden pickaxe that once you acquire it, you can move on to the next level, and the faster you grab it, the more money you are awarded based on your time. In Lazy Raiders, instead of controlling the character directly, you rotate the left stick to move the maze, dropping your character through holes in that maze. You can also flip the maze at any time by simply pressing the A button.
You also have to worry about traps and gates, which some traps will negate each other by running into each other. There are a lot of things to keep track of, which is one of the downsides of this game. You sometimes are playing with dumb luck just to get by, and have to restart a few times just to get everything right. You also have to really learn what traps negate each other, because this is the key to solving a lot of puzzles. Overall, it a fun yet frustrating game that takes a little while to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it gets really entertaining.
The presentation aspects are very hit and miss. The graphics are good, and the art style is very fresh. Every level has a unique shape and style to it, and they can get pretty creative. The sound effects are good, and distinct enough that you are able to tell what sound goes to what item, and it doesn’t confuse you in that regard. The level selection is pretty bland, with you just selecting from a list of puzzles, one right after the other. Also, there is not much music in the game, and can get pretty boring in that way as well. It’s not a bad thing; I just wish they would have polished up a couple of these aspects to make the game really stand out.
Overall, I really liked Lazy Raiders. It’s really an enjoyable puzzler, and has a lot of meat to it. You can really spend a lot of time with this game, and for the price of ten dollars for all this content I think it is well worth this price tag. It can get a little frustrating and confusing at times, but once you start to get that hang of the elements at play here, you will find a very fun game that is worth your attention and time, even in the sea of great games that are on the market this spring.
Review copy provided by publisher.