21 Mar 2015

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Temple Run 2 (iPhone) technically this isn’t running

The original Temple Run has been downloaded 170 million times. Of course it helps that it’s free to play but it’s still a staggering number, especially for a game we’ve never seen anyone play in public and have never once heard mentioned in conversation. But that’s par for the course in the disposable world of mobile gaming, where downloads become cultural touchstones by osmosis rather than general consensus.

We’re not trying to be snobbish about Temple Run, for not only is it undeniably popular but its success is largely deserved. It’s the progenitor of the endless running (aka auto running) genre and despite being the product of a husband and wife team, plus an artist, in Washington it has ended up inspiring dozens of other games including big budget releases such as Activision’s Pitfall reboot, Rayman Jungle Run, and, to a lesser degree, games such as Joe Danger Touch.

The concept is a simple as the name suggests: you control an Indiana Jones wannabe named Guy Dangerous who has to run out of a temple. He runs automatically, hence the genre name, and all you have to do is swipe the touchscreen to help him navigate the obstacles in front of him.

You swipe up to jump and down to slide, while a swipe left or right allows Air Jordan Women Size you to turn corners as they approach. Apart from leaning left and right with the motion controls to collect coins that’s all there is to the game. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s got that magic ‘just one more go’ appeal that sees you Air Jordan 2s getting just that little bit further with every go.

The only thing approaching a complication is collecting tokens that power up a bar at the top left of the screen which, when full, grants special abilities such as running faster, earning more coins, or a brief bout of invulnerability.

All of this describes the original just as much as this sequel and in truth this barely has enough changes to count as an expansion, let alone anything else. You now get to jump onto zip lines and onto mine carts but these are the sort of gameplay changes that not even a EA Sports sequel would pretend justified a new sequel.

Instead, the primary reason for its existence is that what with all the big budget rip offs the original Temple Run now looks extremely low tech by comparison. Temple Run 2 is a considerably more attractive looking game, even if the art style is still very generic.

The game’s free because you’re tempted into buying special gems as in app purchases using real money. These grant you an extra life or a power boost but neither is necessary to do well in the game. You can also buy gold with real money, rather than just collecting it, if you’re so minded.

To level up and unlock new powers you can also complete special in game ‘challenges’, which are basically console style Achievements/Trophies. Very few of the challenges require you to anything you weren’t already doing though, so you unlock most of the stuff without even really realising.

Whether you spend any money playing Temple Run 2 is entirely your own decision, but since it is technically free the fact that it’s almost exactly the same game, just with better graphics, is far less of a problem than it might have been.

Rayman Jungle Run is still a better game, and a better looking one too, but as instant action mobile gaming goes Temple Run 2 just about keeps pace with its rivals.

In Short: Whether it justifies Air Jordan 5s all 170 million of its downloads is open to question but there’s no denying this sequel is prettier and even more addictive than the original.

Pros: A simple but endlessly addictive premise, with greatly improved visuals over the original. In app purchases are surprisingly non exploitive. It’s free.

Cons: The gameplay is almost identical to the original, and the idea has been done better by others. Bland art design.

Formats: iOS (iPod touch reviewed) and Android

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