A Tomb Raider mobile game is coming that might revive the series' run-and-gun roots

Tomb Raider Reloaded
(Image credit: Square Enix)

There’s a new Tomb Raider mobile game coming, and yes, it looks like a return to the tomb-pillaging run-and-gun action of the series’ original games. Sometime in 2021, you’ll be able to load up free-to-play Lara Croft game on your phone.

Square Enix didn’t reveal much in the 40-second teaser trailer for Tomb Raider Reloaded, as it’s called, besides some broad visual strokes that hearken back to the series’ origins. Overgrown jungle temple? Check. Golden treasure on a plinth? Check. Wolves, spiders, rock golems, traps, and a T-Rex in the way? Check. Lara in her OG teal shirt-and-tan shorts look? Big check – though she’s a bit chibi-fied in the transition to mobile.

The YouTube description notes that Tomb Raider Reloaded is an ‘action arcade game,’ presumably meaning we’ll get gameplay a bit closer to that of the console Tomb Raider games than the three prior mobile versions – the card game Lara Croft: Reflections, the Temple Run-like Tomb Raider: Relic Run, and the lauded puzzle game Tomb Raider Go.

What’s next for Tomb Raider?

The console Tomb Raider games were rebooted in 2013 with a new titular Tomb Raider, followed by Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 2018. We haven’t heard much about the next game in the series, leading to a bit of frustration in the comments of the Tomb Raider Reloaded trailer for fans who’d rather see the next big game than a mobile spinoff.

That said, Reloaded is made by Canadian developer Emerald City Games, makers of the licensed GI Joe: War on Cobra mobile RTS game as well as several original titles. Given their experience with free-to-play games, it’s likely we’ll see some slick microtransactions within Reloaded – as well as a neat hand-drawn cartoony look.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.