Lazy Raiders – XBLA Review

A WDesm review for XBoxHornet

“Roll Your Way To Treasure in this World-Spinning Puzzle Platformer!”

Lazy Raiders is a puzzle/platformer where your main character, usually Dr. Diggabone (though a pleasant surprise awaits as an alternative character choice), is simply too lazy to adventure any more. To assist the archaeologist in his quest for riches and relics, you spin the entire world around this slothful fellow, all the while collecting gems, gold and keys, while trying to avoid the traps in the various mazes and labyrinths. The game is engrossing, addictive, and does a good job capturing that whimsical charm and je ne sais quoi that makes bigger-name platformers like Paper Mario so cute and endearing while never managing to leave you fuming over a failed timing.

The only tool you have at your disposal in Lazy Raiders is gravity, which, while a unique design for it, makes this game a physics-based platformer/puzzler, and I’m always happy to see more of those around. Your only controls in the game are the ability to spin the entire world either clockwise or counterclockwise, and the ability to “flip” the world 180o. Dr. Diggabone always falls directly down, and he will slide, flop and fall all over the map as you get used to the idea of moving everything in the game except the character you are supposed to control. The difficulty of the game slowly ramps up, first by increasing the complexity of the geometry, then by adding traps such as spike pits and flamethrowers, and finally by adding ‘enemies,’ who are stuck following the same rules of gravity at your disposal, but cause you to lose should they pilfer the relics before you do. “Losing” the game isn’t penalized too harshly – indeed, even though levels are timed, there appears to be no severe penalty to taking your time, other than a loss of bonus points – and the game’s lack of a punishment failure or a sort of ‘lives’ countdown really keeps gameplay light and forgiving without stressing the player out. The later levels certainly have their share of more-challenging moments, which I suppose should be expected, but they are never impossible, and you can always keep trying and trying, with zero penalty.

If the notion of stress-free gameplay is a radical departure from a more preferred and adrenaline-fueled fare, don’t dismiss the game too quickly – like all XBLA titles, the game comes with a full set of achievements, and these ones are certainly no easy feat to get full gamerpoints on. In fact, Lazy Raiders is chock full of rewards for pushing yourself to the limit, and any completionist will be franticly trying to earn every gamerpic unlock, every avatar reward, and every last achievement to seal their bragging rights forever, while the included leaderboards offer a chance for the twitch gamers to show their honed mastery of superhuman reflex and pristine timing.

For me, I’m more than content to use the “Avatar Mode” in the game to casually play every level as my overdressed digital personae, flopping around like a gravity goldfish as I stare mesmerized by the title screen option “DLC.” Yes, Sarbakan, I’m already left wanting more.

Game Score 8.5/10

Download a free trial of the game here.


One Response

  1. Hey! Happy to see that this game was developed in my hometown of Quebec city!!!

    Would loooove to win a code for this game and give it a whirl!

    Good luck to all!

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