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London - The first Temple Run game was the sort of success story that stokes people’s dreams of becoming ‘app millionaires’. Made by a husband-and-wife team, the simple Indiana Jones-esque running game has been downloaded 170 million times on iPhone and Android – not bad for a game you can’t win.
The game and its spin-offs, including a Disney film tie-in, Temple Run: Brave, still hover around the top ten charts on smartphones now, more than a year later.
Unsurprisingly, Temple Run 2 (iOS/Android, free) doesn’t break the mould and is instantly the best free time-waster on the app stores. It’s all too easy to sit down for ‘just one more go’ and find an hour has passed, or your dinner has burnt to cinders in the oven.
The sequel looks far better than the original, but it’s just as simple – once again, you’re an explorer who’s stolen an idol from a temple, and you keep running away until you fall into a giant death trap. The goal is to survive as long as possible.
The temple’s ziplines, pits and runways appear randomly – hence it has the same moreish quality as a slot machine. It’s simple to play: your character runs (as one might, while being pursued by a giant, demonic monkey), and you swipe the screen to duck and dodge death traps.
Swiping up makes you jump, tilting the phone steers your explorer along ledges – and if you’re lucky, you’ll last a couple of minutes until the traps come so quickly that your fingers can’t keep up.
The sequel adds a few new ways to die: there are now sections in a mine cart where you have to tilt from side to side to stay on the rails. Paths are a lot more winding, which can make spotting bridges more difficult. But underneath, it feels much the same as last time.
As ever, the ‘carrots’ are coins, which litter the course, allowing you to buy new bonuses, such as invincibility or a second ‘life’. You can buy coins with real money, as well as the game’s other currency, gems – hence why the app is free.
You can even ‘buy’ your way out of dying, using gems (69p for five). But it’s done quite graciously – unlike most ‘freemium’ titles, Temple Run 2 never forces your hand, and you can have a good time without paying. - Mail On Sunday