Temple Run Review

By , on August 15, 2011

Temple Run
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Tight, responsive controls; creates a strong feeling of 'flow' - easy to reach a zen-like mode.
  • Synergized power-ups; adds to your survivability and coin-collecting ability.
  • Smooth 3D visuals; perspective makes it easy to judge jumps/turns.


  • Turns achievements in to 'objectives'; missed opportunity for unique scenarios.
  • Upgrades don't show all potential bonuses; hard to work out what bonus to save for.


Temple Run tightens up and polishes the endless-runner for the 3rd dimension, giving players a unique and fun challenge that controls like a dream.

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Imangi Studios isn't the kind of company to mess around with a name, what with games and apps like Word Squares, PhotoMarkr, Max Adventure and Harbor Master being almost exactly what you'd think them to be. So when they named this game Temple Run, it was almost guaranteed to be about some sort of Hollywood archeologist running away from natives.

Like several endless runners of-late, Temple Run takes a shot at mastering the 3D perspective, opting in this case to have players run in to the screen towards an unknown distant location, swerving back and forth as the terrain changes. As you'd expect of the genre there are controls to jump and slide, however the extra dimension also allows for the ability to turn and Imangi Studios exploits this in two ways.

While the game is responsive enough to swipes for changing your direction (be it up, down, left, or right), your iOS device can also be tilted left or right to move the player to one side or the other of the platform he's running on. This aids him in the quest of collecting coins scattered around the path (which can subsequently be spent on power-ups and goodies to make runs last longer or be more profitable), but more importantly it allows him to avoid hazards such as crumbled pathways.

What makes Temple Run so compelling is its clever use of unlockable power-ups that synergize with each other (such as the inclusion of coins worth more money the further you run and a magnet power-up that also multiplies their value) and the quickly scaling difficulty that rewards players who manage to get 'in the zone' mentally speaking. The ability to purchase 'resurrection' power-ups also allows you to continue a particularly good run, though the charges are consumed in the process.

Temple Run does what a lot of runners have failed to do for a long time, namely remain exciting at least until most of the bonuses are unlocked. It won't last forever and jaded iOS gamers may end up skipping it on principle, but for those after a solid runner, this is a definite a must-grab.


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