Temple Run

Now, I’m stuck in a very embarrassing situation as I write this (more on that later). Basically I’m stuck waiting in a room with only a phone for contact to the outside world. I don’t really want to waste my credit explaining to friends how I got myself locked in, so I’ll just sit and save this as a blank message to upload later.

The topic for this article is Temple Run. I’m going to presume you’ve played it, or at least heard of it. It’s the latest game to grab the attention of any procrastinating student, and unlike Angry Birds it’s free (relying instead on in-app purchases)! The game play is simple – run as far as you can through a gauntlet of left and right turns, jumps and ducks (each requiring a relevant swish of the touch screen). Also, by tilting the device, you can run on the left or right side of the track to collect coins. It’s a basic concept, it gets faster until you make a mistake!

There have been hundreds of games like this throughout the decades, so what has secured this one the top download spot in the Apple App store? In the absence of internet, this piece is going to get a little biased and unreferenced, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it all the same šŸ™‚

  • Price is a big thing. Having the App available for free lets it reach that critical mass easier. They used to charge about one dollar for it, but then they realised that people buying coins (with real money) more than made a profit.
  • Availability on phones. A number of games limit themselves to certain markets, but Temple Run is available for iPads, iPhones, and any Android device. And when you have people playing on their phones on the bus, you can guarantee that their friends will follow suit. I’ve noticed that my iPhone isn’t powerful enough to fully enjoy it, but maybe that’s just me. Also, I think they’ve an App through Facebook, but like the Elephant Graveyard I’m never going to go there.
  • Simple to play, difficult to master. Whilst what I’ve outlined above are all the basic moves, there are a number of other factors to think about. Should I use wings (resurrect you immediately), what power-ups should I use, should I collect coins or go for distance, should I trip to slow myself down, etc…
  • The objectives keep people interested. Instead of just running really far and trying to out-do your friends, a number of milestones exist that you can work towards (collect 1000 coins, run 500 meters without collecting any coins, unlock 4 characters, get 1000000 points without using power-ups).
  • And of course, it’s always completely random. Unlike a few other games I could mention, there’s no way to just learn off the best route.

So whilst I’m stuck here, I’ll justĀ reminisceĀ about my best scores. Would I recommend this game? Absolutely, but try not to get addicted!

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