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Temple Run Review

Review; Apr. 9, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec
Arcade-style gameplay finds a perfect home on mobile platforms

Temple Run is a game that takes us back to the days of the arcade in which game objectives were simple, and concepts such as “levels,” “AI,” or “DLC” didn’t exist. The goals in Temple Run are simple: run as fast as you can and don't die.

Temple Run

It's basic. However, this simplicity makes for an incredibly fun game to pick up and play in short bursts or for hours on end. Like any good arcade game, its basic elements keep players hooked.

The story -- as though these games ever really need one -- is about an explorer fleeing a group of demonic monkeys, angry because he has swiped their idol. The player controls the explorer by running -- staying just ahead of the enemies -- jumping or sliding over and under obstacles and collecting coins scattered along the path for power ups. The power ups offer a variety of options, including super speed, invincibility, or more points. Collecting coins can also earn you the ability to upgrade your power ups, making for longer lasting and more effective options and, eventually, different playable characters.

Controlling your runner is easy. Simply sliding your finger in an upward motion causes your character to jump, and swiping down causes him to slide. Shifting left or right is done by tilting your device.

The game allows you to upload your high score for others to see and compete against. It also allows you to earn a collection of achievements for completing in-game tasks as well as checking your stats.

Temple Run Screenshots
Click the image to view game screenshots

The game controls very well. After the numerous hours I put in, I found there was never really any issue with them. Each power up merged seamlessly with the environment and made sure that the sense of speed and momentum never diminished. Temple Run is always fast and exciting. It feels like the finest Sonic the Hedgehog with an Uncharted veneer. The game’s brisk pace makes death seem like less of an inconvenience and more like a momentary pause before dropping back into the action.

Temple Run is a fine example of taking a game with old school arcade design and putting it on a platform that is fit for pick-up-and-play gaming. Instead of pumping quarters in a machine or sitting in front of my Tv with my Atari 2600, I am on my phone, anywhere, anytime. I'm playing Temple Run on the bus, in the subway, on breaks, and before going to bed. It’s the addictive arcade gameplay formula that I no longer have to visit an arcade to get. I can play it however I want, whenever I want. Oh, the bliss of modern technology.

The game is currently free, meaning that you have nothing to lose by downloading it now. Combined with the gameplay, lack of price, and variety of platforms, I can only give my highest recommendation here. You simply must play this game.

*Editor's note: This game was played on the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE.


Review Score

Not Rated by ESRB

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