App of the Week: Temple Run 2

Sheehan Hannan

Sheehan Hannan, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Publisher: Imangi Studios

Platform: iOS, Android, Amazone App Store

Price: Free
When it was initially released, the first Temple Run was an instant success, racking up 170 million downloads. It was something of a mainstream hit, with easily accessible gameplay that, after several tries, proved resilient and addictive.

For the uninitiated, both Temple Run games are forever runners, in which the player is constantly running forward and must negotiate obstacles by jumping, ducking, and turning, all of which correspond to swipes on the screen. In a nod to Indiana Jones, the player is chased in their perpetual runnings by a score of irritated apes, seeking to tear the valiant adventurer to shreds. Like so many games before it, the original Temple Run relies on an arcade-like mentality to maintain player interest, by keeping score and prominently featuring the player’s longest run.

Temple Run 2 also relies on the arcade addiction factor, daring players to beat their own high scores and those of friends. However, the store’s offerings have been expanded to include more power ups. What power ups you can use are also restricted to the chosen character, with some characters having strengths in different areas than others.

The newest version of the game also offers missions, a carry-over from the massively successful Halfbrick sidescroller Jetpack Joyride. The missions add a little variety for those that waver in their obsession and offer a unique challenge that changes the dynamic of the game in some interesting ways. The gameplay remains virtually unchanged, the only exception being some brutally paced minecart sections that seem designed to trip up veteran players. Despite these additions, the gameplay of Temple Run 2 remains unchanged and is still a winning formula.

Perhaps the most noticeable improvement of Temple Run 2 is in the graphics department. Though mobile games aren’t particularly known for their graphical depth, Imangi seems to have made strides to put a new spin on their franchise, putting forth full environments around the player as they run incessantly. This may be due, in part, to the influence of Activision’s Pitfall, a graphically impressive reimagining of the original Temple Run concept. (Pitfall was released in between the original Temple Run and Temple Run 2.) There are even hints that Imangi took some of Pitfall’s strengths to heart, particularly in the environments.

On the whole, Temple Run 2 is a fun way to kill a couple minutes in between classes or fill the boredom of waiting in line. While not ground breaking in any major way, it’s simply too fun to put down. In the realm of mobile gaming, that’s a winner if I’ve ever seen one.