There are very few women in the digital world who are more recognized than Lara Croft.
An English archaeologist, adventurer, fighter, and the main protagonist of the wildly successful video game franchise Tomb Raider.
Lara Croft: A Woman of Many Talents
Lara Amelia Croft was born in 1996, when Eidos Interactive launched Tomb Raider for Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and MS-DOS. The character, meant to be a female version of Indiana Jones, was originally called Lara Cruz. However, the marketing team decided that she needed to be more “UK-friendly”, so a new name was selected from the Derbyshire phonebook. In fact, Laura’s other signature traits, such as her hairstyle and figure, took some time to acquire the classical shape. In 1996, the braid did not make it to the game because only about 540 rendered polygons were used for the model. Her legendary proportions were originally meant to be far more realistic, until, as legend has it, an accidental slip increased Lara’s breast by 150% instead of the intended 50%. This bug was allowed to remain and became a feature.
Since 1996, Lara has been to the world’s most dangerous and enigmatic locations, has overcome multiple blood-curdling dangers, and discovered numerous items with fantastic powers. Among her many adventures are the quest for an artifact from Atlantis, an exploration of the catacombs under the Great Wall of China, traveling to Antarctica in search for the pieces of a meteorite, confronting the ancient gods in Egypt, and even opening the gate of Helheim (Norse underworld) below the icy waters of the Arctic Sea.
Over the years, Lara has evolved to become the "most recognized female video game character", according to the Guinness Book of Records. Every branch of the entertainment industry has, so to speak, flirted with the daring lady: she has appeared in music videos, movies, and comics, not to mention tons of merchandise and non-commercial fan art. Naturally, online slot game developers could not stay away from such a staggeringly popular image.
Lara’s History with Microgaming
In 2004, Microgaming, a video game development titan that boasts to have created the very first online casino, signed a deal with Eidos Interactive (now Square Enix Europe). The company then released the first branded online slot in the world, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, and the partnership became the industry’s longest-running brand alliance.
The original slot was a success. As Roger Raatgever, Microgaming’s CEO, said: “As the industry’s first branded slot, we knew the game would be popular; it has now become a Microgaming classic!” The game remained very popular for years, and the company released updated versions for mobile, Android, HTML5, Web App in 2006, following with the launch of the tournament environment configuration of the game in 2007.
“Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword” is a 5-reel online slot game with 30 paylines and an RTP of 95,2%. The maximum bet is 10 coins per payline, and 300 coins per spin. The available coin sizes are 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, and 0.20. You can hit the jackpot of 7,500 coins.
Besides the traditional Scatter and Wild symbols, the game’s features include the Global Adventure Bonus, the Hidden Treasure Bonus, the Shoot-out Bonus, and the Super Mode feature.
- Wild Symbol
Lara’s portrait is the Wild Symbol (you can practically see the wildness in her eyes). This symbol completes the winning combinations except for the Global Adventure Bonus.
- Global Adventure Bonus
This bonus is triggered when a passport icon lands in the central positions on each of the reels. Once you’ve got you travel document, you’re ready to go on a trip around the world. You will need to select the location in which to begin your search for the hidden fragments of the ancient sword. You get to choose from Tokyo, London, Nepal, Bolivia, and Ghana. The mission is to explore the mysterious ruins and help Lara in her quest for the valuable artefacts.
Speaking of value, all values within the Global Adventure game are multiplied by the weighted average bet taken from the moment when the first reel was activated to the time when the feature is triggered. You can win up to 450x your weighted average bet, as long as you stay clear of the booby traps, of course: if you hit two of these, the bonus round will end. If you’re lucky enough to find all the fragments of the ancient sword, you will be awarded with a random cash prize.
- Hidden Treasure Bonus
Each location in the Global Adventure has several artefacts, which include cash prizes, booby traps, and a Hidden Treasure. If you uncover the Hidden Treasure, you get to choose between a 2x multiplier, a cash prize, or the access to the Shootout Bonus feature.
- Shootout Bonus
The Shootout Bonus feature displays fifteen golden disks. Behind each disk, a mystery value is hidden. You need to play the elimination game and guess the disk that conceals the highest value.
- Rolling Reels
The Scatter symbol is the Excalibur Key. If 3, 4, or 5 of these magical symbols land on your reels, you are rewarded by 10 free spins with the Rolling Reels. During these spins, the symbols that compose the winning combination burst, and the reels roll on, bringing you more wins (potentially). If the Rolling Reels result in consecutive wins, each win increases the multiplier up to 5x.
- Super Mode
This randomly triggered feature gives you five free spins. A heap of Wild symbols that randomly lands on the reels and stays there radically boost your chances of success.
The game, despite not being a new one, is still one of the best slots out there. Besides the traditional bet-and-spin routine, it introduces a narrative element, and the bonus games have exciting mini-stories of their own. Microgaming has managed to combine a traditional video slot with the mechanics of a console game, creating an engaging experience for the player.
The slots are set against the background of the grey and green stone blocks, sometimes covered in moss, and sometimes with the bare tree roots and creepers snaking over them. For anyone who has ever played Tomb Raider on PC or console, this setting is instantly recognizable, evoking all the hours spent hunting for treasures in the company of the adventurous archaeologist. Lara’s 2008 incarnation, attractive and powerful, is shown in different action poses, and the Wild and Scatter symbols are animated, so that the game retains its air of the classical console adventure.
The gameplay is fun and dynamic, and the multiple bonus features make it, with a bit of luck, highly rewarding. It can be played at the premium online gaming sites, such as Bitcasino.io, both in regular, and in fun mode.