Temple Run Review: What’s Next?

In recent years I must admit that mobile games have failed to capture my imagination. Of course I remember my teenage years in which the only reason for having a phone was to continually indulge in a game of snake on my Nokia 3310 until my thumbs had no feeling. These days It seems like a mobile phone can do anything and so It is easy to forget about games. Temple Run for me is a Mobile game like no other, a game game changer if you will. Graphics in games have certainly come along way in recent years whether we are talking about mobile gaming or console gaming. ‘Temple Run’ could easily be mistaken for a console game, It is fast paced, Imaginative and very addictive.
‘Temple Run’ is a highly successful video game which was developed by Imangi Studios. It was originally released in 2011 on iOS and was later released for Android. The player takes on the role of an explorer who has stolen an idol from the temple and is trying to make their way through the temple whilst being chased by demonic monkeys. The game is unique in the fact that it is never ending. As you run through the temple you will find many obstacles and also many collectibles. Most commonly you will find several coins which you will be able to spend to upgrade skills and abilities. you will also find power-ups which will enhance your abilities for a limited time. Boost is my personal favourite power-up which allows you to take a power boost to skip ahead further into the temple. The more you upgrade the further you will be able to boost. Invisibility is another great power up which allows you to be able to walk over gaps in the floor and pass through trees. Other Power-ups include Coin magnet which makes the coins come to you and Megacoin which will give you a high value of coins in one go. Husband and wife team Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova produced, designed and programmed the game and they really were on to a winning formula. At first glance the game is a fun and simple pass-time but as you progress into the game, jumping, sliding, boosting and picking up speed you soon discover that every second spent in the game becomes incredibly fast paced. ‘Temple Run’ has a massive following and it’s popularity speaks for itself.

2012 saw the release that Temple Run fans and Disney fans could both appreciate. ‘Temple Run: Brave’. Based on the Disney Pixar movie ‘Brave’ and in the format of Temple Run. The Player takes on the role of Merida, the Scottish Princess who definitely gives as good as she gets, on the run in the Scottish highlands and armed with a Bow of course. 
There was plenty more in store for Temple Runners when the sequel ‘Temple Run 2’ was released in 2013. The second game fits the same dynamic but somehow it is a different animal and it definitely has a bigger bite. The graphics are much more eye popping and the controls on this game make you feel like you are actually in the temple yourself. This game came with many aspects of the original such as objectives to earn, collectibles and of course running for your life.
Another Spinoff was not far behind though and it was another collaboration with Disney. ‘Temple Run: Oz’ was based on the Disney Movie ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’. This was also released in 2013.
This got me thinking, what is next for Temple Run? There are many movies or Television brands that would fit the format for Temple Run but one Television show in particular stood out for me, a British Science fiction phenomenon that has recently celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary. I am of course talking about ‘Doctor Who’. The Doctor is no stranger to running and he has of course seen many a temple in his thousand plus year life. One of his greatest enemies once described the Doctor as ”the man who keeps running, never looking back because he dare not”. This description fits the Temple Run formula perfectly in my opinion and let’s not forget the advice that his latest companion is so keen on giving him ”Run you clever boy and remember”.
The possibilities are endless here, The doctor could be on any planet, in any temple, being chased by any enemy and let’s just imagine while he is running and jumping he darts through a hole in the time vortex and he reappears in a different location, different universe even, different enemies. This game should exist because it would put Temple Run on a whole new pedestal. If you are a fan of Doctor Who as I am then you will know that the Doctor does of course have a few tricks up his sleeve and these would transfer well into power ups in the game. The Doctor of course can cheat death by Regenerating which he can only do 12 times. My idea is for Regeneration to be a Power up. where you activate the regeneration at the start of the run and should you die you will regenerate. This would also be a good opportunity to use regeneration energy as a way to be invincible for a slight period during the aftermath of regeneration. another good power up would be a time jump. should you find yourself in a sticky spot quickly activate the time jump and find yourself reappear elsewhere. with power ups in mind the possibilities are once again endless and I personally believe this would be an amazing instalment to the series and I really hope that the minds at Imangi have thought of this as well. Whatever comes next in mobile gaming I just hope that there will be many more instalments in the ‘Temple Run’ series.
Words by Gordon Langley