So it’s just about 2 years since the launch of Temple Run and now is a good time to take stock of just how big a game it has gone on to become. There have been 5 releases of Temple Run (see our article: Temple Run the Dynasty Compared) with 2 major links to Hollywood films, most notably the Wizard of Oz named Temple Run Oz, which to many has been the best Temple Run game so far. There have been other celebrity links, the most notable must be Usain Bolt being added as a character for all to play (added August 2013). There has even been a comic book written about the game, usually reserved for the biggest blockbusters at the cinema.
It’s played all over the world, Gamepop.co has a huge Indian following from Temple Run fans, many of whom are active on the Facebook fan page which has over 114,000 friends now. The game has been a hit, let’s not deny it. But just how big a hit has it been in the 2 years since it was first released on iOS.
I guess the easy way to break down the numbers is to start with a question: how much time do you spend per day playing Temple Run? For us it’s about an hour or so. Now normally at this point a science professor boffin type will tell you how long you play every year, or possibly even per decade and you will go “omg!” and then tell all your friends.
Well we don’t do boffins or professors, we do internet nerds and they tell us that all of us Temple Run players have played for over a combined 54,000 years. That’s like ever person in your family playing the game non stop for over 170 generations. And as if that isn’t ridiculous enough the game itself has been downloaded over 100 million times, and that doesn’t even count the number of times people have played Temple Run online (which we estimate at well over 300,000 times on this site in just 6 months). While we might not do professors and boffins we do do infographics so take a look below to see just how popular the game has is. You will be astonished, we assure you.
For any game developer creating a dynasty is the holy grail and with Temple Run having it’s 4th title released Imangi Studios have achieved infamy in an incredible short period of time. Not only this but they have single handedly defined the endless runner genre both on mobile and online. With appstores desperate to appear more popular than the other games like Temple Run are most welcome, generating some serious revenue and traffic. Now we’ve talked a lot about the game and you can even play Temple Run Online on Gamepop and while we have reviewed each of the games individually (links to the reviews and games online at the bottom of this editorial) one thing we have yet to do is compare each of the different game releases.
How have we compared the different Temple Run titles?
We decided to break down each title into 4 simple sections to enable us to compare them as easily as possible (as with all comparisons it’s not bullet proof but it felt like a pretty logical approach to take). The sections are:
Learnability – is it hard to learn to play? (sure it’s a made up word, it’s the internet after all!)
Uniqueness – how unique is the game both compared to other games and each of the different Temple Run releases
Pros – what’s good about the game
Cons – what’s bad
Other bits of background to the comparison
Temple Run was near enough the first “run forwards” game on mobile and online and therefore really defined the genre Endless Runner. Several other games have tried to copy this, probably most noticeable was Sega who made the natural jump from console to mobile with Sonic Dash. What makes them so compelling is the lack of fixed levels, the movement of tilting and swiping your screen to collect your coins and dodge obstacles, people love it. Sit in a commuter train in London today and I guarantee you’ll see someone playing an endless runner.
Are we biased?
Probably but we hope we don’t let it show.
So onto the comparison…
Temple Run – the first
As the first instalment the first Temple Run drew people into a new fast paced world of trickery and excitement. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the game is that it uses all the usable functions of a smart phone relying on finger swiping and tilting and this really increased peoples engagement levels beyond that of many other more traditional games. Indeed the reality is there is not much to do in the game apart from dodge stuff and collect coins.
Is it hard to learn?
The concept of endless running games is simple so there’s not much to learn except to play all the time. From time to time you’ll see how better you get at the game, it just takes practice. The original Temple Run is easy to learn due the fact that it’s simple. You only have to jump and swipe unlike other endless running games which require shooting, flying and similar stuff. I can say that Temple Run is probably the easiest one to play of all the 4 Temple Run’s. Obstacles are broken bridges, trees and those jumps from one part of the path to the other. Nothing complicated, right?
Yep it sure was unique when it came out and then there’s the location and story. It gets you into the story of the old temples which are cursed by Demonic monkeys which for some reason keep chasing you all the time! You really need to watch your step. But as further the Temple Run’s go, the more unique they are but we’ll see more of that later in the comparison.
It’s pretty simple so it’s not hard to learn
Performance on mobile is very good due to it not being resource hungry
Huge player base
Not many features apart from dodging and collecting
Being the first game it came with a good number of bugs and glitches, tbh some of them were pretty fun though!
Temple Run Brave
This game is pretty much the same as the first Temple Run made except it has had the graphics enhanced and this time you are running away from a bear and not from those Demonic monkeys. The game is obviously fun as every Temple Run game ever made. Especially with those new features which have been implanted so you don’t get bored from swiping! The place where you are running is different than in previous Temple Run’s as you are placed in a rain forest, running away from a dangerous bear which is trying to get you down (well let’s be honest, he’s trying to eat you omnomnom!!!).
Is it hard to learn?
The game doesn’t have many different aspect to the first game, but it does introduce a new element; you get the opportunity to shoot down targets which appear on the left and right side of your screen using a bow. You are able to shoot stuff for bonus points and this makes getting higher scores so much easier at the end of the run. When you get everything together, there’s not much to write about this game as it’s just a slight improvement of the previous ones.
Honestly, the game doesn’t have so much uniquesness compared to the previous Temple Runs, because it’s pretty much similar except new characters and the new implented shooting system which grants you extra points. It is an improvment and we can say that it is unique on some ways but still.. When you get everything together you can say that, well, it is a good game, but it could’ve been improved much more.
The new shooting system
Not much different from other Temple Runs
It should be free as it’s similar to other Temple Runs
Temple Run 2
We can say that Temple Run 2 is a pretty fun game, the good thing is that they have improved the graphics in Temple Run 2, making it look even more amazing and even more fun to play! But why should you play Temple Run 2 when there’s the original Temple Run?
I’m going to tell you why, the new power ups make the game so much fun, even more fun than Temple Run. Yes, it’s not the classic one, but hey! it has new features. There’s just one thing, that’s getting in the way, the graphics are much better which means that your phone is going to go through a hard time when you are playing it, of course, if you have a medium/high-end phone, then you’ll be playing it without any problems! This is the same whether you are using an Android based phone or an iPhone.
Is it hard to learn?
If you’ve played the previous Temple Run then you won’t find it hard to learn the game. The thing is, you just have to learn all the new amazing power-ups which are implented into the game because they are obviously much more different then the ones in Temple Run.
Also, you’ll need to get used to the new enhanced graphics and lots of new details which will be shown on your mobile phone screen! Also, I have forgot to mention that you’ll need to get used to the new menu, icons, characters and similar!
Well, Temple Run 2 is not really unique compared to Temple Run, because only some minor changes have been made which means that everything stays the same except the changes i’ve mentioned above. Unlike the other Temple Runs which have much more features to offer! However there are things that make it a better game than Temple Run.
New details, powerups (super fun!) and graphics
Less bugs than in the previous version
The game requires better specced mobile phones due to it’s graphics
Temple Run Oz
This game is amazing. I would like to say that this game would be so much fun for kids, because, first of all, Disney is involved in making this game, and as you all know, Disney makes some amazing stuff, even the cartoon on which we all grew up. Not only that but it’s based on one of the greatest films of all time; The Wizard of Oz and if you’re anything like us you will have sat enthralled watching the newly released Oz: The Great and the Powerful starring Mila Kunis.
But the special thing making it fun is the new features which have been added, such as flying in a hot air baloon through the sky and at the same time collecting coins for your new powerups and similar. The graphics have been enhanced a lot and the level of details as well making it so enjoyable that everyone would be interested into trying it! It includes bunch of new traps which make the gameplay amazing and you’ll be in action in every second of playing.
Is it hard to learn?
Well, this game is a little bit harder, but a little bit easier at the same time. The fact that you are able to revive yourself by using a Diamond is great.. Imagine you are getting so close to your new high score and then you fall, but don’t worry, there’s the revive option which places you into a bubble and gets you immortality for some time. The new traps can be kinda confusing bit it’s very similar to those old tree traps, holes and similar. So, i would say that it’s not that hard to learn, you just need to get used to it.
Temple Run Oz is an extremely unique game providing you with two options, to fly and to run. Which means that it can be an endless flyer as well, ha! No, all jokes aside, the game is uniquely made and it provides you with fantastic graphics, just like being in an actual fairy tale. It kinda reminds you on those old Disney movies you used to watch back in your childhood. Well, so it’s also unique because it’s the first game based on the up-coming Disney movie called, obviously, Oz and hopefully it’l attract lots of mobile phone game fans, Disney fans and similar and actually grant Disney some extra viewers for the new amazing movie!
Amazing and stunning graphics
New and exciting ways to move through the game
Hot air baloons (they’re just cool)
It’s based on the latest part (Oz: The Great and the Powerful) of one of the greatest movies of all time, the Wizard of Oz
The amazing graphics require more expensive phones
At this moment, it’s not free
The Gamepop.co Conclusion
You know what this is actually a pretty impossible task to pick the best Temple Run title but we have been helped by both Imangi and by you the readers and gamers who have been busy answering this question for us. But before we come onto that how have Imangi helped us? By making Temple Run Oz. It’s simply amazing and has taken the both the series and the endless runner genre to new heights. Now onto our readers, in our latest Gamepop.co (still running) we asked which of the titles our readers and players preferred. Their response? 52% voted in favour of Temple Run 2 with Temple Run Oz in 3rd place with 12% behind Temple Run which got 28% of the vote. This could be largely due to the fact Oz is not free.
Ok so I guess we need to commit to a winner. What, no drum roll? Meh…
Our winner is Temple Run 2!
We picked Temple Run 2 simply because it improved things and enabled Temple Run Oz to build upon those improvements to create something incredible with new ideas, features and well, just a whole lot more awesome!
Temple Run already had a licensed property spin-off with Temple Run: Brave. Oz is now taking the same popular and successful core gameplay that is loved by everyone regardless of gender and age.
Almost immediately after Temple Run 2, we have Temple Run: Oz. Looks like Disney is going to take all this Temple Run goodness to every feature they have! Oz, by the way, is the prequel to the Wizard of Oz. In this particular game, you will guide James Franco along the yellow brick road, and you know what happens when you put the Temple Run formula there. You have to evade bad things and collect good things.
Why not just play Temple Run 2?
It is just weird that Temple Run: Oz came just right after Temple Run 2. Granted that the Temple Run: Brave did good on its own, it is cannibalizing sales for Temple Run: Oz to run side by side with a mainline title. Nevertheless, we are not talking $60 game we are talking 99 cents, so we the consumers are probably not really going to be that picky.
Some screens of the new gameplay features
Nevertheless, Temple Run: Oz is channelling the same things with Temple Run 2, with all the swipes to jump, slide, and turn. Tilts will allow you to snag coins to use on items and upgrades for the abilities. The mine cart sequence, and also the zip line are removed to, of course, stay true to the Oz world. However, the replacement which is hot air balloon riding is just to simplistic and, dare I say, boring. It’s hard to get the sense of speed created by the game when you’re in a big, cumbersome hot air balloon.
The implementations of the “enemy forces” are rather corny too. They are just thorns growing out of the ground and you can spot them from a distance, making the game a lot easier than it should be. There are no leaderboards, which is weird for a game in this age. And also, Temple Run 2 is free and got a leader board.
Play Temple Run Oz Online?
As with all temple run games the ability to play online or on your pc is a big draw. As yet there has been no announcement whether it will be possible to play temple run oz online.
The Game Pop Conclusion about Temple Run Oz
Temple Run: Oz is not comparable to Temple Run 2. It’s simply not as good. Not only that the game is less enjoyable, it has a price tag and no leader boards, which made the Temple Run game much more enjoyable with all the score chasing against everyone in the world. The presentation is still good, the formula also works well, but it is time to step up the game. It would be great if these spin offs added something new and special to Temple Run but unfortunately this iteration completely fails.
Usain Bolt would be a great add-on for Temple Run due the fact he could have the biggest running speed but his jump height should be lowered. Think a little bit, Usain Bolt saying those cool lines in his Jamaican Accent! Now that would be a great experience! Imagine running away from the Apes and then you hear him say; Rasta man, Jamaica runnin’ away from ‘di Babylon! And similar lines! It would give the game some amazing, unique and fun features!
2. Michael Jackson
We all know that he’s the biggest legend and the King of Pop but what about an amazing adventurer? Again, imagine running away from those Demonic Apes when uddenly, you hear; Billy Jean is not my lover, woooo! And when he dies, you hear that low squishy voice saying; Oh-oh. It would be also funny that every time he gets a power-up he mutters ‘ I’m so plastic, it’s fantaaaaaastic! ‘
3. Darth Vader
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Darth Vader getting lost in space and ending up at the Temple, running away from monkeys!I’m imagining that he would turn round every time he gets a power-up saying; *Vader voice* Apes, I’m your father! After that line, the apes would get even more angry and their running speed would be increased for a short amount of time.
4. Bad Luck Brian
Now, he would be the hardest character to master. He’d be dragged from his chair into the PC and he would be set into the game, right infront of the monkeys. After a while of running, a big sign should appear saying Finnish, and yes, Finnish not Finish, written with an ugly font. Brian would begin to snore in a nerdish way which would represent his happines and after crossing the finish line there would be a monkey obstacle which is pretty hard to master. If the player masters the jump, the game will continue normally if not, the bad luck would strike Brian again.
5. Homer Simpson
D’oh! You can’t get enough of Homer saying D’oh, can you? Escaping the monkeys while Homer shouts out random lines such as; Beer, Beer, Beer! or Mmmmm… ooonut! He would be a pretty clumsy runner, wouldn’t he? The power ups would probably be beer and donuts and each time he picks up one, he’d say Mmmmm… Oh and every time he would stumble over an obstacle he would shout out loud D’oh and he would hit himself in the face, also known as Facepalm!
6. Ezio from Assasins Creed
I’m sure that all of you have at least tried playing Assassins creed, you have probably fell in love with Ezio on the first sight! Now, imagine having him as a character in Temple Run. It would be amazing if you’d be able to climb up the walls to avoid obstacles! His jump speed would be increased just like in the original game. Even though I’m a hundred percent sure that if he gets into Temple Run players would begin to do parkour instead of trying to beat the actual game!
7. Bane from The Dark Knight Rises
The whole internet is now obsessed with him! Every viral website on the internet is overfilled with his pictures, overfilled with the so-called memes. I know that all of you, Batman lovers would be interested into having him as a character in Temple Run, I’m a hundred percent sure. The fact that I’m not a big fan of Batman movies, doesn’t give me a chance to describe him fully. So I think that if he was in Temple Run, he’d have this ability to destroy obstacles, now and then. Ha! You would love that, wouldn’t you?
8. Kratos from God of War
The most amazing game ever made. I hope that this post will gather lots of God of War fanboys! Running away from Demonic Monkeys would never be so fun. Especially if he had the ability to swing his weird swords which for some reason extend themselves towards the monkeys, slowing them for a short amount of time. It would be also amazing that the power ups would be red, green and blue glowing balls, GoW fans will recognize this due the fact that in GoW, each color represents a different element.
9. The Overly Attached Girlfriend
She would be the most scary and annoying character in Temple Run, that’s for sure! Each time you would fall, you would hear lines similar to: ” Hey I just met you and this is crazy, I have your number. I want your babies” and the all time classic ” I poked holes in all the condoms, now you have to love me forever “. scary, isn’t it? Now the scariest part would be seeing her actual face on screen, ugh-.. Gross!
10. Twitch from League of Legends
” Eeeew, what’s that smell? Oh, it’s me, whahaha “. Due the fact that League of Legends is at this moment the most played game in the world, I’ve chosen Twitch to be a character in Temple Run. His movement speed would be slower but his disgusting smell would slow down all enemies which are running behind him. Player would be probably annoyed by his voice. If you have never played League of Legends then his voice is really hard to explain. If you want to hear the sound check out the video below!
There are many different characters that you can play in Temple Run. You begin your adventure with Guy Dangerous but you can unlock other characters in the Temple Run Store or by using a cheat code. The characters are really just there for your viewing pleasure.
These are the characters you can unlock in the game.
Turn on tutorial mode from the main menu. Start the turning tutorial, when you perform a turn slide your finger in the same direction 3 times really quickly, you’ll then be able to run non stop forever.
When you are at the Title Screen type in the following codes for some great unlocks: