When you were a kid, did you ever make your body go limp so that your mother was forced to literally drag your carcass onto the school bus? You hoped that resisting would cause the whole system to give up on you, but it never happened, did it? Prodding Dr Diggabone into action with Lazy Raiders might bring back some memories, though playing the game is fun, which is more than we can say for your mother’s attempts to get you on your feet.
Dr Diggabone is an accomplished archeologist even though his mottos are ‘I don’t wanna’ and ‘Can’t someone else do it?’ While Doc is flying back home to see his family, his plane is hit by lightning and he’s sent tumbling down into another set of uncharted ruins. Go on and heave a big sigh, since Diggabone can’t even muster up the energy to do so. You need to plunder the ruins and find a way home, otherwise the Doc won’t ever see his family again — though something tells us that he doesn’t really care. Do it anyway.
Time for a nap.
Thing is, you don’t control Diggabone in Lazy Raiders. Instead, you control his background environment by spinning the screen and letting the portly explorer bounce around the corridors. As the doctor slides around the corridors of each ruin, he picks up gems and idol totems that eventually unlock vital treasure rooms. When Diggabone collects the artifact in one set of levels, he can move on to the next set.
Diggabone is, shall we say, a well-padded individual, but he can only take so much punishment. In early levels of Lazy Raiders, you need only worry about getting the best score possible by collecting idols and reaching the goal within an allotted time limit. But before long you need to steer Diggabone away from thieves, fire traps, spiked rooms, and boulders (which can be used to crush spikes and other dangerous terrain). You can also double-tap on the screen to flip the environment, which opens up gates and disarms certain traps.
Lazy Raiders is a hoot, but it’s not without its problems. While the game’s concept is fairly original and navigating around traps takes finesse and dexterity, there are times when the controls feel badly calibrated. You would expect Dr Diggabone to fall in a straight line if you flip his world upside-down, but sometimes, he just sits exactly where he is (he even resists gravity’s attempts to pull him along — now that is some world-class laziness!). Execute a quarter-turn, however, and Doc will go plummeting. It’s just weird, and the problem crops up regardless of which control scheme you’re using.
“Oh, good. Thieves.”
Lazy Raiders is also a bit difficult to play on a small screen. Traps can be hard to make out, and it’s hard to tell the difference between treasure and the pick-axe that marks the end of a level. You might think you’re merrily tumbling along towards an idol, but then the level ends instead and you’re stuck with a lousy score unless you start it over. Park this one on your iPad.
The core concept behind Lazy Raiders also gets repetitive after a few levels, but archeology is all about enduring occasional mundane moments for a big reward. Overall, you’re in for a good time if you decide to go adventuring with Dr Diggabone, but be prepared to do all the heavy lifting.