It speaks volumes of the fame achieved by the game that for many people, Temple Run is pretty much synonymous with gaming on handsets and tablets. It has been almost a year and a half since Imangi studios (and Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova in particular) unleashed a game in which you controlled a character whose only job was to run. And run. And run. Why? Well, because you had stolen an idol from an ancient temple and were being pursued by vengeful monkeys. Weird? Well, the world did not think so. The game has been downloaded more than a hundred million times on iOS and Android and spawned a whole genre of gaming called “endless running,” not to mention dozens of clones.

And now it has a sequel.

Temple Run 2, to its credit, does not mess with the formula that made the first game a massive success. You still end up running endlessly. You are still guilty of having grabbed an idol. And you are still being chased by monkeys – all right, just a single, but gigantic, monkey this time around. The game controls are the same – swipe your finger to the right or the left to make your character take a turn in that direction, tilt your device to make them incline in a particular direction, swipe up to hurdle an obstacle and swipe down to slide under one. And the objective of the game remains the same – to just keep running on and on for as long as possible, collecting coins along the way by running over them.


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So what’s different?

Well, the whole look and feel of the game, for one thing. Imangi had given the game a fresh coat of coat in a special edition for the film “Brave” but even that pales in front of the sheer spectacle that they have served up this time around. The environs are much more detailed and the rough edges that marked the first version of the game are nowhere to be seen. And this time you also get to swing on a rope and even get a ride in a carriage. There are a number of characters to play as well, starting with Guy Dangerous and then move on to to Scarlett Foxx, Barry Bones and Karma Lee depending on the number of gold coins you collect on your running spree. And we could be wrong but we definitely did think that the running is a bit more challenging this time around – the paths curve more often, obstacles large and small keep popping up and the massive monkey on your footsteps tends to materialize quite often when you mistime a jump or bump into a smaller obstacle without dying. It played smoothly on both our iPad 2 and iPhone 4S and remains as addictive as ever (an Android avatar is expected in a week or so)

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Which brings us to the matter of what you are actually running for, apart from saving yourself from aforementioned massive monkey? Well, there are two ways of looking at it – you can collect coins and cover distances. Doing so enables you to move up levels and also purchase power-ups (attracting more coins, getting a brief burst of speed and so on) and also unlocks other running avatars. It is also where a touch of commerce comes into the equation – you can purchase more coins and gems using real world money if you would rather not run for them. Though why you wouldn’t want to do so beats us, because after all, that is what the game is all about. In fact, we would say that of all the freemium titles we have played Temple Run 2 is the one where we have felt the least need to reach into our wallets to shell out cash – simply because the running is so much fun. And of course, no two runs are alike – each time you start out, you face an entirely different path. So the repeat value here is nothing short of phenomenal.

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Which is exactly the word we would use to describe Temple Run 2 – phenomenal. Those who hanker for innovation will holler at how the game is esentially the same as its predecessor only with a fresh coat of paint. And when we sit down and think cold bloodedly, we too will concede that perhaps a few more touches could have been added – the ability to turn around and have a go at your adversary, the option to indeed slip into the vengeful monkey’s hide for a while, the ability to just stop dead and take a gander at the stunning environs and so much more. Yes, more could undoubtedly have been done with the game. But you notice all that only when you are NOT playing it. When you are, you only have one objective in mind – to run, run and run a bit further than you did the last time around.

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Which is what the Temple Run ethos is all about. Run and grab this game. And run again. And again. And…

Download from: iTune App Store
Price: Free


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Editorial Mentor

Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.