Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Common Sense Media says

Top-down actioner has some blood and a strong female lead.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story is about questing for an artifact that will help keep an evil entity at bay. Violence plays a key role, but the creatures and animals players dispatch are evil minions. Plus, puzzle solving is as important as combat.

Positive role models

As always, Lara Croft is a smart, truth-seeking, and fearless explorer. She uses violence, but only in self defense. What’s more, her sexuality plays a lesser role here than in past games, making her a more palatable action hero for girls.

Ease of play

The controls should prove broadly accessible. However, some of the tricky puzzles could stump players for a couple of minutes.


Players use guns, spears, bombs, and environmental elements (such as big, crushing balls) to fight off animals and fantastical creatures, including humanoids. There is a small amount of blood and frequent yelps. Dead people can be seen littering the ground in some scenes.

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a top-down adventure game with the action taking place from a high perspective. Some blood can be seen, but the violence is against aggressive animals and evil, fantastical creatures, making it fairly easy to stomach. Since Lara appears much smaller on the screen, the developers haven’t accentuated her womanly assets. Consequently, she is a strong female hero with virtually no focus on her sexuality.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

LARA CROFT AND THE GUARDIAN OF LIGHT, a downloadable game, is a significant departure for a game starring the heroine of the popular Tomb Raider franchise. It sees Lara questing for a lost artifact in hopes of locking away an evil entity. The action is viewed from a top-down perspective rather than the series’ traditional third-person perspective. Players control a much smaller character by using one thumbstick to move her and a second to control the direction in which her equipped weapon(s) points. The resulting action is less cinematic than in previous games, but also much more accessible. What’s more, it’s the first game in the franchise to feature a campaign that can be experienced not just by a single player but also with another in cooperative mode.

Is it any good?


Though relatively short (it takes only eight hours or so to work through the campaign), Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is easily the freshest and most entertaining game to star the iconic, teal tank top-clad explorer in years. The fights are simpler and more satisfying than they’ve ever been, and there are even more environmental puzzles and reward-driven challenges than in any of the Tomb Raider games.

Most importantly, it’s just plain playable; the sort of game players of all skill levels can pick up and become comfortable with in a matter of minutes. The fact that our heroine is -- for once -- hardly sexualized, only broadens the game’s appeal. Teens and adults alike will find plenty to enjoy in this affordable and compelling action/adventure/puzzle game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about women depicted in games. Why do many developers focus on “boob physics” and outfit their heroines in skimpy clothing? What needs to happen for this to change?

  • Families can also discuss the differences between combat seen up close and fights viewed from afar. Are the latter less disturbing in any way? Why might that be?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Square Enix
Release date:August 18, 2010
ESRB rating:T for Animated Blood, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bymrjoe94 September 24, 2010
While there's no language in the game, a few parts might make you think/say "Oh Sh**". I'm on the second level and i've thought that twice :D. Also the game is very fun.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written byjoskita88 August 22, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bymarcia2435 September 18, 2010

perfect for people that love ta just stare at tv alot cause this look boring

looks to me like this could be boring ahaha
What other families should know
Too much violence


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