Games That Don’t Suck: Temple Run
Today’s game that doesn’t suck is Temple Run (iTunes: free – Universal) , from Imangi Studios. This is a quick-finger, endless running game sort of like former “GTDS” Gravity Guy, or The Impossible Game, but with a great 3D twist and Indiana Jones adventurer theme to it that makes it even more enjoyable.
During a quick tutorial you will learn the basic controls which consist of 1 finger swipes (left, right, up (jump), and down (slide)) which you use to avoid obstacles and keep from falling to your death, all the while being chased by skull-headed-demon-monkeys. As you run through the randomly generated world, you will inexplicably see floating coins you can collect by tilting your device. These coins serve as currency that you can use in the Temple Run store to purchase and upgrade various powerups which will help you stay alive longer. You can buy extra coins with real money if you’re impatient, but the game is so addicting I’ve found you can collect coins on your own simply through playing. The game does tend to move fast, and can at first seem frustrating, but after about 5 minutes you will find your rhythm and get a real feel for the timing of your swipes and begin trying to beat your best time. I also enjoy the tense, driving soundtrack which is primarily made up of jungle drums which at times sound almost exactly like the beginning of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”.
[I just realized the following paragraph is completely incorrect, but I am leaving it in because it's such a poetic piece of journalism]
My only issue with the game is more of a suggestion to the developers than a problem really, (are you reading this, Natalia?) which is of course that you should have the option of choosing to play as a female character. If I learned anything from playing Tomb Raider as an adolescent boy going through puberty, it’s that I enjoy watching female adventurers in short shorts from behind as they run. Plus, the main character grunts a lot, which is disturbing as a male, but would have a nice “Caroline Wozniacki” vibe if it were a woman. Anyway, just an idea. I know I would pay an extra 99¢ in the store to play as Caroline Wozniacki.
[UPDATE: It turns out you CAN play as a female character, but you must buy her (as well as 4 other characters) through the store. My confusion came in that the store menu (as well as the Objectives Menu) both do not appear to be obviously scrollable – had I scrolled down I would have seen the extra characters. So I guess now my only criticism is those menus need an arrow or something for those of us who are stupid.
Below is a brief gameplay video which is really all you need to see to decide if this game is right for you, although I have already decided it IS right for you, so go get it!
Temple Run is the ultimate casual “bathroom break game” (Imangi can feel free to use that quote in their advertising materials) meaning you can pick it up and play any time you have a spare minute (most of my games so far have literally lasted about 1 minute). I can’t tell you how many times I said to myself “Just one more try” and found that 20 minutes had suddenly passed. So what are you waiting for? You could have played 5 times already. Temple Run (iTunes: free – Universal)