‘Temple Run: Brave’ Mobile Game Review
Growing up in the golden age of arcades during the 80's you had one objective and one objective only – get the highest score possible.
Video games lost their high score luster over the next couple of decades, giving way to storylines, polygon pushing bragging rights and which mascot was going to rule over the other. But lately there's been a resurgence in high score achievements thanks to things like Gamecenter and Xbox Live. And mobile gaming seems to be bringing back what made games great back in the day. With games like Temple Run: Brave, if you want to prove you're the best, you've gotta earn it.
To promote their upcoming animated film 'Brave,' Disney Interactive decided to team up with Imangi Studios and breathe some new life into one of Imangi's most popular titles, 'Temple Run.' The result is 'Temple Run: Brave,' a free-running game where the only goal is to stay alive for as long as you can. It's addicting, it's novel, and I absolutely 100% suck at it.
Controls are simple, and the game has a tutorial for first time players. Swipe the screen down to slide, swipe up to jump, and swipe left or right to turn in that direction. Tilt your device to move Miranda on the path. The further you get, the faster she runs and the less response time you have to make a decision. And you're going to have some very frustrating short response times.
Coins are littered throughout the course. Collect them to purchase powerups which I'll cover in just a bit. Disney and Imangi added something new to the Temple Run style of gameplay – targets. Since Miranda is an expert at archery, at various points in the game targets will appear. Tap the left or right side of the screen as soon as you see the target and she'll nail it. Targets only appear during long straightaways, so you don't have to worry about jumping or sliding during them. Getting all the targets earns you a bonus. You can also purchase coins separately though I don't know why anyone would waste the money.
Once you've collected enough coins (you start with 2,500 for your initial purchase of .99 cents) head to the store to buy powerups, outfits and wallpapers. Permanent powerups include – Increasing the Mega Coin Value, Make the Coin Magnet last longer, make Invisibility last longer, Increase Boost, Triple Value Coins and Increase Coin Reward.
Utilities, which can only be used once each time you purchase them, include – Resurrect Wings, boost ahead 1000m at the start of the game and mega boost 2500m at the start of the game. You can also purchase three more outfits and three different kinds of wallpaper. Scrolling in the store is extremely difficult for some reason. Sometimes I purchased a powerup when I didn't mean to because I was trying to scroll down. A separate scroll bar should be added in a future update.
You can also earn achievements in the game. Various objectives include running 2,500 meters, collecting a certain number of coins, unlocking outfits, etc. These objectives, once completed, increase your score multiplier. The game also comes with a Stat screen, showing how many times you've played, your longest run, total coins, etc. It's a nice little summary to remind players like me how terrible we are at the game.
The graphics have been changed from the ruined temples of Temple Run to the beautiful Scottish Highlands. There's quite a bit of fog in the background, which means when you turn, slide or jump, you won't have a lot of time to react when there's a new obstacle in front of you. Trees on the road and long jumping gaps are your worst enemy. Trip up over a small branch and the bear comes right up on you, waiting for you to screw up once more so he can grab you and end your game.
Controls weren't as responsive as I would have liked. Swiping seems fine at first but the faster you run, the less time you have to swipe the screen. But quite a few times I'd swipe right and Miranda wouldn't turn, running straight ahead into her watery grave. So my twitch skills have gone down the drain or something isn't quite right with the game's response time. Turning the sensitivity up in the options menu could help, but that may only work for the tilt controls. Not too sure.
The music is nice to listen to. Miranda will sometimes speak as she's running, making comments about how tired her legs are or complain that she's jumping around too much. You can change the music and sound volume in the options menu. You can also turn the tutorial on or off. One thing that I found to be very disappointing was the exclusion of any online Gamecenter area, where you can see the longest runs of other players. Not sure why that was omitted from the game and it should be included.
The game is a decent distraction for twitch gamers like myself, and the Pixar branding will help attract a younger crowd who might have skipped the original Temple Run. Nice graphics and sound and endless gameplay can be addicting, but the questionable gameplay mechanics could turn off some players. And the exclusion of online high scores means the only person you're going to be bragging to is yourself in the mirror. Hopefully some future updates will fix these problems before Temple Run: Brave runs out of steam.
App Store Link: Temple Run: Brave | By Disney Interactive/Imangi Studios | Price: $.99 | Version: 1.1 | 43.7 MB | Rating 4+