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App Of The Week: Temple Run 2

February 11, 2013

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Welcome to App Of The Week, featured every second Monday here on WeHave9Minutes! I’m going to take you through both the latest in smartphone/tablet gaming and some golden oldies that you might have missed and should get a chance to discover. Every app will be thoroughly scrutinized and then marked on the App Scale that goes Amazing – Approved – Acceptable – Awful. When marking the apps, I’m looking at gameplay, sounds and graphics, but most importantly whether the app is still interesting after a few days. I’m personally playing on an iPhone 4S and iPad 1, and thus all apps featured here will be available at least for iOS products.

App Of The Week

Temple Run 2

TR2

When the ‘endless runner’ game Temple Run, was released in August 2011 it redefined mobile gaming and quickly shot to the top as most downloaded app for iOS, having been downloaded more than 170 million times to this date. Now Imangi Studios are ready with the follow-up Temple Run 2, and I can already say that fans of Temple Run will not be disappointed.

In best iOS style, Temple Run 2 wasn’t announced or even hinted at before a few days before its release on January 24 2013. Once out, it broke all mobile gaming records by being downloaded over 50 million times in the course of three days, becoming an immediate blockbuster. The app is a “freemium”, which means that it is free to get. Imangi Studios instead make their income on in-game purchases of coins and gems with real money. Due to the popularity of Temple Run, Imangi could easily have decided to charge money for purchasing the game and probably still have gotten the 50 million downloads, but they chose not to, and I commend this.

So what’s new in Temple Run 2 game wise! In an interview with Imangi Studios in The Guardian, they explain how they have wanted to keep the key features of Temple Run. Thus you still grab an idol and get chased by zombie monkeys, even though this time it’s only one of them, but it’s definitely bigger than a car and eats explorers for breakfast. The mechanics are also much the same. You jump, duck and slide to move forward and collect coins. The really new features are of course first and foremost new temple grounds, much improved graphics and excellently improved music. You are now running in what seems to be temple grounds floating in the sky, and the road is twisting and turning, adding a much improved experience to the original Temple Run‘s very left, right and center feel. In addition, you also occasionally have to slide down a rope and steer a mine cart through a mine, which is a nice break-off from the running during a game.

The coins you collect are still used to purchase upgrades, but as a new feature every character you unlock comes with his or her own special ability, or powerup,  making the change of character more than just cosmetic. I’m excited about this feature as I feel like it adds a whole lot more to the game. Every time your power meter is filled by collecting coins, you gain access to the powerup that can be used at any time. It’s great fun and makes the power meter a lot more interesting than it was in the old Temple Run.

Something else you’ll be collecting is gems. I usually collect between 1 and 4 gems on my runs, depending how far I get, and it’s like a small victory every time you get one. They are big, they are green, they are shiny, and the best part is that if you die, you can use a gem to resurrect yourself. However, every time you do it, the cost goes up, so you must spend more gems to get resurrected. I tend to never get past 10,000 m, so I feel like this is a nice addition.

In general, Temple Run 2 feels like Temple Run, but in a much improved version. I have already played the game for hours and intend to play it for many more. The graphics, music and humour of the game (most explicitly shown when you die) is wonderful. But the best thing about the game is almost that if you are just willing to put down the time, you won’t have to spend any real life money at all. Imangi Studios have designed the game to feel fun and complete even in the fully free version of it, unlike many other games, where you have to pay to advance or be on equal terms with other players of it. The amounts of coins and gems you collect manually in Temple Run 2 are generous, and you don’t feel like you have to play for a year before you can get the next upgrade. It does go very fast.

TP2 second

Verdict: Temple Run 2 is the kind of app you want to have on your device. It is extraordinarily well executed and contains hours of fun for the price of free. It has already saved me from boredom on many occasions such as sitting in waiting rooms, having nothing to do at work, waiting for the train or bus and during long car journeys on the back seat. I salute Imangi Studios for both their humour and for putting down time and care in improving the gaming market for phones and tablets and for striking a balance between being decent and still making money. This app is Amazing.

Image Links: Temple Run’s Official Facebook, Temple Run on App Store

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