We had barely got the hang of Temple Run 2 when Imangi has sprung a fourth version of the game on us (for those wondering which was the third apart from the original and its sequel – well, there was a Temple Run Brave based on the Oscar winning film). And yes, once again, we have to thank Hollywood for this. The latest edition of the sprint-like-hell title borrows a lot from Disney’s new film, Oz. We can sense some eyebrows going up at that “a lot”. After all, how much can a game that is all about running away from baddies of some sort borrow from an animated film.
Well…a fair bit. For one, the lead character. You play as the mighty Oz. Mind you, you are a bit weak in the spell department (mostly, unless you grab a power up or two) and you have to sprint a fair bit to outrun…flying baboons! Yes, the monkey angle is retained here, although these look more like Batman’s predecessors than anything remotely connected to the human evolution chain. Then there is the matter of the environs. While in Brave we were restricted to the creepy forests in Scotland, things are far far more colourful here, not least because you are after all, running on the famous Yellow Brick Road.
There are forests, cliffs and before you say “been there, dodged that”, we might add that there are hot air balloons as well. And you are not obliged to take them either – you have the option to simply turn away and sprint off in another direction. We did develop a fondness for floating around and dodging dangerously sharp crystals, though. You also have to deal with tornadoes that take you to other locations, seemingly harmless plants that snap at your heels and attempt to trip you up and dangling branches that put you off your run and bring you within range of them flying baboons.
The aim as in all Temple Run games is the same – you have to run as far as possible and keep collecting the gold coins that litter the path. You can use these to buy gems that will revive you when your runs get terminated or to get power ups that add a zip to your sprint, attract more coins, make you invulnerable for a while and so on. Sounds familiar? Well, it is. And so is the gameplay – tilt the device to move to either side, swipe in a direction to turn thence, swipe up to jump and down to slide under. But the going has definitely got a bit tougher as rocks and trees seem to pop up at the very last instant, making dodging quite a task – you will be jerking around your handset a fair deal when you play it. Yes, there will be those who will say that this is nothing but Temple Run 2 with a fresh coat of paint inspired by Hollywood, and with a price tag added for good measure. Our response to that would be – true, but then Temple Run has generally adhered to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, and has basically remained unchanged since its very inception, those coats of paint excluded. And of all the coats we have seen, this is by far the most spectacular.
Worth 99 cents? Oh absolutely.