Sunday, August 5, 2012

Michelin Game - Temple Run

Temple Run has been one of the most extraordinary success stories on the App Store, and what is more amazing is the indie nature of the development team, which is essentially a husband and wife team and one graphic designer.

Temple Run has also reached 100 million downloads in exactly a year of release, and the figure itself is staggering, and hopes of merchandising is on the horizon even as this is being written.

So, what exactly is Temple Run and what has made this game so wildly successful?

Remember the first Indiana Jones movie, right at the beginning when Indy was retrieving a lost treasure idol and was chased throughout a cave and jungle by cannibals?

Well, Temple Run is essentially that whole scene presented in an endless running game. It is one of the simplest premise for an iOS game and Imangi Studios has cleverly used it to great effect.

What makes Temple Run so brilliant is the perfect balance of nail-biting action, coupled with a well-balanced upgrading system of power-ups that makes Temple Run so fiendishly addictive.

Running And Collecting Coins

Once you tap Play or grab the idol icon on the title screen, your running adventurer will be immediately set on an endless running mode, being chased by monkeys with apparent wings.

The view is a 3rd person 3D view and you control your character by swiping left or right at corners and swiping up and down to jump over and slide under obstacles respectively.

There is also a tilt control feature where you will tilt your device to collect coins along the way. And coins are an important aspect of this game where you can use them to buy upgrades and power-ups.

In-Game Store

Once you miss an obstacle or hit a tree, or miss a turn, your game is over and a total score will be tabulated, together with your total distance accumulated and total coins collected.

With the coins you collect, you can enter the in-game store to buy power-ups and upgrades like invincibility (where you can run through obstacles) and double value coins. Coins are essential as during the run, your score has a multiplier that is tied to the number of coins collected during that run.

In addition, you can also purchase other characters besides the default one, imaginatively named as Guy Dangerous. There is even one which is described as the 2nd greatest explorer of all time, named Montana Smith. Sounds familiar? I thought so.


As with games of this nature, a lifetime statistics screen is provided, detailing your lifetime games, distance and coins. Temple Run also fully supports Game Centre with leaderboards and achievements all well woven into the game itself.

And that is it, a simple running game. Yet, it is so addictive that it always elicits a "one more run" response every time you die in the game. And that is largely due to the well balanced nature of the game and its components.


The graphics will not likely win any award, but yet, everything is presented in a pulp fiction format is highly stylized and is absolutely suited to the game.

The characters and backgrounds do look slightly crude, but the framerate is silky smooth and that only serves to ramp up the adrenaline as you pick up speed during the run.

Temple Run will test your reflexes to the maximum, and the excitement of an Indiana Jones movie is dutifully replicated during each play. The Aztec environments are aptly suited as well.

Indiana's Brother?

The game is also totally free, and the freemium model is actually one of the best that I have seen. You can purchase additional coins using the IAP model to buy the upgrades faster, but you do not need to do so to enjoy the game.

Temple Run is also universal and just recently, it has been upgraded for iPad Retina Display, and it looks fantastic with the Retina enhancement, despite the clunky graphic design.

Temple Run has also ignited a whole genre of 3D endless running games, but the original is still the best. Somehow, Imangi Studios has managed to get the perfect mix of action and power-ups just right, and not even its imitators can match this factor.

The App Store has had its fair share of indie developer success, and Temple Run is the epitome of this. If you enjoy endless running games, and is a big Indiana Jones fan, Temple Run will be a perfect game for you.

Temple Run (Free) - Click here to download.

1 comment:

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