Sunday, January 1, 2012

Temple Run (iPod Touch)

Play Time: 2 hrs

What Happened: 

This is another game that I'd heard about awhile back, and wanted to check out when I got my iPod. I saw some screen shots and thought the visuals were really cool. This is more of a true 'endless runner' in that the level is procedurally generated and simply continues as long as you can stay alive. You are being chased by some monkeys after 'stealing the idol' (pressing play). You encounter a series of obstacles that require you to jump (swipe up), slide (swipe down), and turn left or right (swipe left or right). Every obstacle only has one correct action - and if you time it incorrectly or do the wrong action, you die. There is also gold which you can collect by either running straight ahead, or tilting your iPod to the left or right to move to the left or right of the path. Your goal (like Canabalt) is to go as far as possible before dying. 

There are also items that you can buy (with in game money, or a boost from real-world money) to help you go even farther. You can also get achievements like "go 250 meters without collecting any gold" but I've pretty much been ignoring those.  

What I Liked: 

Art. I really like the level and character art. It's a nice looking game. I particularly like the UI - the HUD elements are integrated very nicely into the art of the level. I also like how the title screen is set up - pressing the play button is the same as stealing the idol. It's clever. 

Premise. I dig the whole Indiana Jones vibe. 

Game Over Screens. I like how when you die, there's an illustration that shows what got you.

Controls. I'll admit that it took me awhile to get the hang of the controls, but now that I'm comfortable with them, I really enjoy them. I love the way that the accelerometer is incorporated into gameplay. Overall, it's a great use of what the iPhone/iPod Touch has to offer. 

Sound. The music is simple, but it's high energy, so I like it. I also think the simple sound effects of the main character and the sound of picking up gold are satisfying.  

What I Didn't Like: 

Shop. This isn't so much something I dislike as something I don't see the point of. There's a shop in the game where you can buy items to better your score... but I don't feel a need to use items in this game. I enjoy this game because it's fun to practice timing and reflexes, so I don't really want items that get me a better score. 

How Do I Feel About Continuing?: 

I think I will continue to pick this game up and play it every once in awhile. It's a few minutes at a time of easy fun - the same way that Canabalt is. 

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