Game Reviews

Run, Run, Run and more Running… The Temple Run Review

Temple Run was originally a paid game released onto the iOS platform and as a paid game saw minimal success. The developers, Imangi Studios, decided to change their business model to free-to-play and saw a huge surge in popularity making the game a hit. After a fairly long delay Temple Run has finally made it onto Android and after all the hype this game has gotten, does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

Title: Temple Run | Developer: Imangi Studios | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: 1.0.2 | Size: 26 MB | Price: Free |

Temple Run is a continuous running game where you play as an adventurer who steals a mystical idol and has to run, a lot, to avoid some rather vicious monkeys who were protecting the idol. It is sort of an Indiana Jones type of theme. While you start off with one character to play as, you can buy different people eventually to play through the coins you earn in-game or, if you are impatient, you can buy extra coins through in-game payments.

To say Temple Run received a lot of hype when it was announced for Android is an understatement. Everyone was reporting on it, including us of course, and people were talking about it all the time. It was delayed for quite some time and it did finally get released a few weeks ago. After all is said and done, the big question is, does the game live up to the standards and all the hype that was placed on it now that it is out. The answer to this question is yes… and no.

When it comes to the presentation of Temple Run, it is a very unique game. The fact that it is an over-the-should (or third person) perspective is definitely a unique feature to the game as well as the fact the visuals are 3D graphics. There are other 3D rendered continuous running games out there for Android but those are side-scrollers and not third person. When the game was originally released, there was some glitchy-ness and choppiness to the graphics when rendering on the go. You are running non-stop after all.

After a few updates it seems to have solved a lot of the rendering issues a lot of people were experiencing. Other people experienced loading issues with Temple Run which also seem to have been fixed as well. It is known that Imangi Studios outsourced their Android development for Temple Run to a third party company which could be part of the issue with the initial bugs that came with the game’s release. I have always thought that if a developer can do the work themselves that they should since they are intimately familiar with the coding already.

Since the initial release of Temple Run, the controls have worked fairly well for the most part. On occasion I have experienced a lack of response with the controls when swiping left or right to turn or tapping to jump. Even after updates, this issue still sometimes arises as well as the choppiness of the rendering although the latter is much more rare then it used to be.

The bonuses you can purchase through the coins you earn in-game are quite handy and another unique feature of Temple Run. You can save yourself with wings, boost your distance either right off the jump or later on in the game, get bonus coins and increase their value among other perks. Earning coins is fairly easy considering your collect them as you are running and they can increase in value the further you run. For those of you who want everything right away, you can buy extra coins through in-game purchases.

The bonuses, while being a great feature in Temple Run, are difficult to buy, not because they are expensive but because it takes about 5-7 tries, sometimes more, tapping on the upgrade you want before it actually registers. This unresponsiveness also appears in the game when trying to do things like initiate the temporary life saving wings in the upper right corner. The button for the wings is small and requires a lot of precision in order to activate them, usually taking a few tries. This can be a pain when you are further along in the game with a ton of stuff to avoid and you are too busy trying to activate the wings without dieing anyways.

Other features, which were recently added in the latest update like Twitter integration, should have been there in the first place. While it is a minimal thing to gripe about, when the hype surrounding a game gets to a level that Temple Run received, the game should be released in a complete manner right off the get go.

Replay value for Temple Run is actually quite high… at first. The challenge is there initially when playing the game, always trying to beat your previous score. A problem arises, however, when you break into the million+ mark with your scores. There is  less and less desire to keep playing the game as it is so repetitive. Even though the levels are randomly generated, it is still just the same thing over and over again. While Imangi Studios happens to be looking into adding different and new environments, right now it is just a repetitive game.

A cure for this issue, until new environments are added to the game, would be to have some sort of global leaderboard added to Temple Run. This would give the game a couple of added benefits such as being able to compare scores with other players and actually having something other than personal gratification to work towards when you start getting into the really high scores. The achievements are great but competition is always better.

It may seems like I’ve been a bit harder on Temple Run for this review than other games and perhaps I have been. I think the hype for the game’s release on Android was more than most games receive ever and with that comes higher expectations. While Temple Run does have a lot of the hype justified with the uniqueness of the game, there could have been more done to the game before being released. As it stands right now, a few improvements could breath some new life into the game for me but I’ve noticed that my play time in Temple Run has steadily decreased since its release.

It is a good fun and addicting (initially) game to play though and you can’t go wrong with a price tag of free. With the updates coming at a steady pace, Temple Run keeps improving and I can bet in the near future the final score for the game will increase. Of course I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with the final score I’ve given the game but as always it is based off of my experience with the game and I’m sure others have had better or worse experiences.

Final Score: 3.5 / 5

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