Lara Croft Relic Run updated level menu. Screenshot courtesy of Raider Daze.
Here's a quick rundown of the new features:
Structured levels – Instead of two major locations with endlessly repeating scenery, each area is now broken down into 40 smaller levels of increasing difficulty. Levels alternate between relic finding and other challenges, such as score/coin collecting, killing enemies, collecting gems, and so on. Endless running is still an option, though. Once you've completed a level, return to the main menu, tap the infinity icon at the bottom left corner of the screen and go, go, go!
Upgrades tied to advancement – In the original game, most weapons and other upgrades were solely dependent on the number of coins or gems you were able to collect. Play enough, even in the first area, and you would be able to unlock most of the goodies. In the updated game, upgrades are linked to level progression.
Mountain Pass area – Upon beating level 80, players unlock this icy location featuring new enemies like spiders and yeti, a new vehicle: the snowmobile, and a new unlockable weapon: the minigun.
Clue counter and ability to save clues – In Relic Run's original incarnation, players collected clues during each run in order to unlock relics. This is still the main way to advance, but now the clue meter clearly indicates the number of clues you've found and how many are needed in order to unlock the next relic. (This is not shown in the screenshots below but can be seen here.) Also, if you fail a run before unlocking the next relic, a new feature allows you to save your clues. You must spend gems to do so, but it may be worthwhile in the more difficult later levels.
Revamped in-game purchases – There are a few new things to buy, and more of the upgrades require gems to unlock. On the plus side, achievements are now rewarded with gems, and there seem to be more gems scattered through the levels. Still, I've heard many players complaining that it's difficult to advance in the later parts of the game without buying gems.
Overall I like most of these changes, and I'm looking forward to exploring the Mountain Pass. Unfortunately, after installing the update, the game no longer runs on my phone. I hope this will be fixed eventually. I had to wait a few months beyond the initial release before my device was supported. Most players I've spoken with have found the transition trouble-free, and were able to keep their accumulated progress, unlocked items, achievements, and in-game purchases following the update.
Just to recap, Lara Croft Relic Run is free but includes optional in-app purchases. It's available for iOS and Android. There is also a Windows Phone version, but it has not yet received the update.
If you don't own a device that can run the game, it is possible to play on PC or Mac using the Bluestacks Android emulator.