UPDATE: RenRen Games have announced that the game’s servers will be shut down in August 2014. Based on this, it now seems very unlikely that Lara Croft: Reflections will be released worldwide as previously planned.
When Square Enix trademarked the name Lara Croft: Reflections in March 2013, it sparked a flurry of speculation within the Tomb Raider fan community. Was it the name of the upcoming sequel to 2013’s reboot game? Could it be an expansion pack or DLC? Was it the name of Dark Horse’s new Tomb Raider comic series? Or perhaps even a sequel to the popular co-op adventure game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light?
Well, it turns out that Lara Croft: Reflections is, in fact, a free collectable card battle game for iOS devices. The game is being developed by Square Enix Japan (Smile Lab) and RenRen Games and was soft-launched on iTunes Australia and New Zealand on 20th December 2013.
Lara Croft: Reflections is the second Tomb Raider title to be released for iOS in the space of a month and it’s currently being tested in Australia and New Zealand ahead of a planned worldwide release later this year. According to Crystal Dynamics’ Community and Communication Manager Meagan Marie, the game does not take place in the core Tomb Raider universe but it will offer fans a “nostalgic Lara Croft experience”.
The gameplay is radically different to what we’ve come to expect from a Tomb Raider game. Players will be able to fight against enemies and other players in real-time card battles in order to collect, steal and protect rare artefacts. Weapon cards can be collected and combined to upgrade Lara’s weaponry and players will also have the option to participate in group battles, which will allow them to take on powerful event bosses and earn better rewards.
TouchGameplay have posted a sneak peek gameplay trailer on their Youtube channel. As you can see, Lara Croft: Reflections is similar to other turn-based online games (e.g. Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance) but with a Tomb Raider twist. And due to a plot device involving forbidden doors and parallel worlds, Lara will even get the chance to do battle with… herself.
Lara Croft: Reflections is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store (Australia and New Zealand only) and requires iOS 5.0 (or higher) and a network connection. You can find out more about the game, its features and its release dates on the official Lara Croft: Reflections Facebook page.