February 24, 2020
February 24, 2020
A classic title responsible for breeding an ongoing craze for endless runners on mobile platforms, and still providing adrenaline-drenched gameplay 11 years later.
Temple Run made no qualms about its simplicity, nor did it pretend to be anything else. This is an endless runner with a scoring system, set in an Indiana Jones-styled location.
Temple Run's formula would prove to be a success back in 2011 due to its intuitiveness and originality, offering a gameplay style that was pretty much unheard of up until that point, particularly one that capitalized on the touchscreen technology that began to be implemented on mobile gadgets.
These were also the days when games sporting PS2-level graphics were essentially considered premium, yet even for the standards of that time, Temple Run had iffy visuals reminiscent of the PSX days or, at most, the earliest Playstation 2 days.
Its sequel, Temple Run 2 (as if you wouldn't figure that out!) would get a massive overhaul in technicals and graphical power. The same would happen with other Temple Run clones like Subway Surfers, which was released just a year later.
Temple Run's visuals have aged extremely poorly, and it physically hurts to look at them now. The animations are also quite clunky and, for a runner, are big headache-inducers. Perhaps it's just my propensity for migraine, and I may be exaggerating just a bit to make my point, but you get the idea.
If this game were released in 2022 it would not stand a chance and would be deemed as just another Google Play Store or Apple App Store filler. Nevertheless, this game was undoubtedly revolutionary for the 2011 mobile gaming scene and has rightfully earned its cult status. Even if you're not a fan of endless runners, you gotta give credit where credit is due!
And then there are the ads!
I'm struggling to remain positive throughout this review, but I must say I truly hate this aspect of the whole experience. It's not even about the ads themselves, but about the way the developers force you to watch them even if you don't want to.
Look, I understand that the game is free to play (always was, as far as I can recall) and that developers need and deserve their due. But there are a plethora of ways to achieve monetization without nagging the player in the process. Unfortunately, this game opted for the worst kind of monetization strategy.
For example, you could ask players to watch an ad in order to continue where they "died". In fact, this game actually does that very thing, but here's the catch: If you choose not to watch the ad, then, guess what? It shows you the ad anyways! Who thought this was a good idea!? Is this a glitch? If so, why hasn't it been fixed after all these years (11 and counting)? Food for thought!
Lastly, I need to talk about sound design. In summary, I'd say that it's not bad, but they could have done a better job in the soundtrack department.
I'm not even claiming that the music is bad, and it actually fits the game's visual theme nicely, but it's practically just drums and, provided that you're a good player and don't die often, it may start to irk you after a few minutes. I had to eventually turn it off so that I could keep enjoying the game. I really dislike having to praise the inclusion of sound options in a video game, but they are very handy for this game (sadly so).
The premise of this game is simple. You play as a treasure hunter that gets chased by monkeys (or apes - I frankly couldn't tell) and your goal is to run away from them. Along the way, you're faced with several obstacles that you must overcome, such as tree roots, gaps, fire columns, totems, etc.
The game is played from a third-person perspective and your character will be permanently running. You won't be able to slow him down, so the game forces you to pay attention at all times and look out for all possible obstacles that could appear surreptitiously as you make your moves.
Its controls are very intuitive and I found them to be smooth and responsive (at least on my phone).
My only beef was with the tilt functionality. I'm probably nitpicking at this point, but I didn't like the idea of having to change my phone's position to get my character to mode sideways. They probably could have made it so that, when you swiped horizontally, the player would slide to the other side.
Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but whenever I tilted my phone I would lose focus on what transpired, even when I could see the action on the screen. This killed the momentum for me and made me glad that gyroscopic controls are not as widespread on mobile. On consoles, I can see the appeal of motion controls, and even these are fraught with issues.
The levels are mostly randomly generated in an attempt to offer a unique experience with each playthrough. The level's visual design, however, hardly varies.
You earn points by collecting coins and running farther. As the game progresses, you'll be able to unlock power-ups which also grant you additional points (25 points per power-up, to be precise).
Power-ups are very useful perks that can facilitate your playthrough. For example, you can obtain a coin magnet that will draw all the coins towards you without you having to go out of your way to get them.
As you complete objectives, these will grant you multipliers that enable you to get more points per session than you normally would.
Finally, you have access to a leaderboard in which you may compare your performance with other Temple Run players and see how you fare. It's a very nice feature that adds some competitiveness and replayability.
Temple Run is still being played as of this writing, which is indicative of its long-lasting success, even in the face of better modern alternatives (technically speaking at least). Notwithstanding, if you want to get acquainted with the genre, I would recommend that you try Temple Run 2 instead of this one unless you're curious about this piece of gaming history.
Additionally, If you want to relate your experience with this game, feel free to run over to the comment section below.
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