iPhone App Video Review: Temple Run

by Andrew Koziara

Grab your fedoras and bull whips, kids! It's time to go treasure hunting in the exciting, Indiana Jones way, rather than the boring old real world way. Temples with booby traps and curses are what you'll find in Temple Run, a new third person running game from Imangi Studios.

The simple premise is that you have found an ancient idol of some kind, but upon removing it, you wake up its guardians, which just happen to be demon monkeys with skull faces. You start running for your life and avoiding danger, getting as far as you can. Everything is controlled through swiping and tilting. You swipe to turn, jump, and slide, and tilt to move your character left and right on the track. Doing this, you pick up trails of coins and avoid obstacles. There is no end to the temple, and it's randomly generated, making it infinitely replayable.

After you die, you'll be rated and given any coins you collected to use on upgrades. The upgrades in this game are different than most. You aren't actually upgrading your character. Rather, you're unlocking the chance of a boost or power up showing up randomly as you play, and upgrading those boosts simply improves them. Things like coin bonuses, becoming magnetized to coins, and becoming completely intangible with random spirit bridges showing up all over the place. These help you extend your runs farther and farther, but none more than the resurrection upgrades. These you actually buy a certain quantity of, and by double tapping the screen, you'll use one and sprout angel wings. As long as the wings are in place, if you die, you'll come back. These make for great last minute saves if you're quick enough.

There are in-app-purchase coins to buy if you're the rich and lazy type. The game has its own set of achievements or milestones to nab, in the form of objectives. There are Game Center achievements and leaderboards. Any objective you complete permanently adds to your score multiplier.

The music and graphics are all good, and the game is very addicting. It's definitely one of those games that you play "just one more time" over and over again. The controls are pretty solid, and as you get used to the game and your reflexes improve, it only gets more fun. It's really easy to accidentally slide or jump on a twitch and ruin everything, but it's even easier to just start playing again. There are definitely some cases in which completely impossible situations were around the corner, but they were few and far between. This is definitely a very different running game and a great value at only one dollar. Check it out.

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