Tomb Raider GBC Retrospective: How the pocket version is different yet still great

Tomb Raider GBC Retrospective: A Look Back at the Classic Game Boy Color Adventure

Tomb Raider is a franchise that has been around for over 25 years, and it has seen many iterations over the years. One of the lesser-known entries in the series is Tomb Raider on Game Boy Color. This game was released in 2000 and was a departure from the series' usual 3D platforming gameplay.

Despite being on a handheld console with limited hardware capabilities, Tomb Raider on Game Boy Color managed to capture the essence of the franchise. Players took control of Lara Croft as she explored various tombs and ruins, solving puzzles and battling enemies along the way. The game was praised for its graphics and sound design, which were impressive for the Game Boy Color's hardware.

IGN gave Tomb Raider on Game Boy Color a score of 8 out of 10, praising its faithful adaptation of the franchise's gameplay and its challenging difficulty. The game has since become a cult classic among Tomb Raider fans, and its ROM can still be found online for those who want to experience it for themselves.


Tomb Raider GBC is a 2D side-scrolling adventure video game developed by Core Design and published by THQ. The gameplay of Tomb Raider GBC is a mix of action, puzzle, and platform elements that will keep you engaged throughout the game.

The controls of Tomb Raider GBC are simple and easy to learn. You can walk, jump, roll, swim, climb ladders, monkey bars, and ropes. Lara Croft, the main character, can also use her pistol to combat enemies. The game has 14 levels, and each level has its own unique level design, puzzles, and enemies.

The puzzles in Tomb Raider GBC are challenging, but not too difficult. The game requires you to use your brain to solve puzzles, such as finding keys to unlock doors, pushing blocks to reach higher ledges, and switching levers to open gates. The game also has save points and save crystals that allow you to save your progress.

The enemies in Tomb Raider GBC are diverse and challenging. You will encounter treasure hunters, animals, and even the evil god Quaxet. Combat is not the main focus of the game, but it is still an important aspect. You can use your pistol to shoot enemies, but you need to be careful because ammo is limited.

The level design of Tomb Raider GBC is well-crafted. The game takes place in Peru and the Amazon, and the environments are beautifully designed. You will explore ancient ruins, underground caves, and lush forests. The game also has some sections where you need to switch between the past and present to progress.

In conclusion, Tomb Raider GBC is a great addition to the Tomb Raider franchise. The game has solid gameplay, challenging puzzles, and diverse enemies. If you are a fan of 2D side-scrolling adventure games like Prince of Persia and Contra, then you will enjoy Tomb Raider GBC.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics and sound of Tomb Raider GBC are impressive for a 2D game. The game's visuals are well-detailed and colorful, and the animation is smooth. The game's sound effects are also well-done, with satisfying sound effects for Lara's movements and actions.

Despite being a 2D game, Tomb Raider GBC manages to create a deep and complex world through its level design. The game's environments are well-crafted, with a variety of obstacles and puzzles that require clever solutions. The game's platform mechanics are also well-implemented, allowing for precise movements and jumps.

While the game's graphics and sound are impressive, they do have some limitations. The game's 2D graphics can feel a bit dated compared to modern games, and the sound effects can become repetitive over time. Additionally, the game's level design can be frustrating at times, with some puzzles requiring multiple attempts to solve.

Overall, Tomb Raider GBC is a solid 2D platformer with impressive graphics and sound. While it may not be as deep or complex as its 3D counterparts, it still manages to capture the spirit of the Tomb Raider franchise in a unique and enjoyable way.

Why It's Still Unique

Tomb Raider for Game Boy Color (GBC) is a unique game that still stands out today. It was developed by Core Design and published by THQ and Quaxet in 2000. Despite its limitations due to the hardware, it managed to capture the essence of the Tomb Raider series and deliver an enjoyable adventure.

One of the unique features of Tomb Raider GBC is its use of both 2D and 3D graphics. The game uses a top-down perspective for exploration, but switches to a 3D perspective for certain actions like rope climbing. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the gameplay and makes it more engaging.

The plot of Tomb Raider GBC revolves around the Nightmare Stone, a powerful artifact that Lara Croft must retrieve before it falls into the wrong hands. The game features 14 levels, each with its own set of challenges and puzzles. The gameplay is complex, but not overly difficult, making it accessible to casual gamers.

Despite being developed over 20 years ago, Tomb Raider GBC still manages to impress with its attention to detail and level design. The game features a variety of environments, from ancient ruins to modern cities, each with its own unique challenges. The rope climbing mechanics are particularly impressive, allowing Lara to swing and climb around obstacles with ease.

Overall, Tomb Raider GBC is a unique and enjoyable adventure that still holds up today. It's a testament to the skill of the developers at Core Design and the publisher, Eidos, who managed to deliver a quality game on limited hardware.

Why You Should Play It Today

If you're a fan of Tomb Raider or just looking for a fun and challenging action-puzzle game, Tomb Raider for Game Boy Color is definitely worth checking out. Despite being released in 2000, this game still holds up surprisingly well today.

Developed by Core Design and published by THQ, Tomb Raider for Game Boy Color features the iconic heroine Lara Croft as she embarks on a new adventure to find the Nightmare Stone. The gameplay is a mix of action and puzzle-solving, with plenty of jumping, rolling, and swimming to keep you on your toes.

One of the standout features of the game is its level design. Each level is deep and complex, with multiple paths to explore and secrets to uncover. You'll have to use all of your skills, from rope climbing to monkey bar swinging, to navigate the treacherous caverns and ruins.

The controls can take some getting used to, especially if you're used to playing the series on PC or console. But once you get the hang of it, the gameplay is smooth and satisfying. Lara has a variety of moves at her disposal, including a running jump and a roll, and enemies and puzzles are challenging enough to keep you engaged without being frustrating.

With 14 levels to explore, Tomb Raider for Game Boy Color offers a decent amount of content for a handheld game. And thanks to the save crystal system, you can easily pick up where you left off if you need to take a break.

Overall, if you're a fan of classic side-scrolling adventure games like Prince of Persia or Contra, or just a fan of the Tomb Raider series, Tomb Raider for Game Boy Color is definitely worth checking out. It may not have the flashy graphics or complex combat of more recent entries in the series, but it's a fun and challenging game that still holds up today.