This month, Imangi Studios brings its sequel to the crowd favorite Temple Run. While this new game still does not feature a central story beyond petty thievery from a temple of demented monkeys (replaced now with one, behemoth-sized primate) it maintains its original fast-paced game play and improves on a number of its key components to the enjoyment for new players and veteran marathoners.
The first aspect that has changed rather noticeably is the game’s graphics. Gone are the days of a monochromatic yellow-brick-road, greened mossy stone, and browned broken boardwalk, replaced now with a convincing inner-temple jungle and associated obstacles. Obstacles are a bit harder to see, and rendering can be a bit choppy at high speeds, but both are forgivable when considering that it does not negatively impact the game in a significant fashion. In addition to new environmental improvements, zip lines and mine carts have been added to the pantheon of treacherous traps your adventurer will face. On top of this, your collection meter, which once granted pieces of a puzzle and eventually points when filled, now channels the activation of an ability similar to any power up, available at the demand of the player. Abilities can be upgraded by ways of gems, a new currency introduced into the game. Gems are also used for resurrections, which cost an increasing amount of gems per resurrection per run, and can be found rather commonly throughout the game as you leap, slide, and perform death-defying acrobatics. Coins still exist, and like the game’s predecessor, are used to upgrade pick-ups, coin value, and purchase new characters. Buying new characters also unlocks new abilities for use on any runner. New upgrades include buying an increased multiplier, frequency of pick-ups, and even reducing the price of resurrections and head starts.
In addition to the new features of on-demand abilities and gems, Temple Run 2 also revised the achievement system, which now grants experience along with the previous permanent multiplier. Experience allows the player to level up, which in turn gives rewards like coins, gems, and even the ability to create gems. Of course, a free mobile game would not be a free mobile game without having some micro transaction aspect to it. Coins and gems can be bought with real money, and while both can be collected through simply playing the game for some time, farming either resources can get tedious. As such, you will find yourself turning to the store if you don’t have the patience to manually stock your coffers, or if you just want to unlock new features instantaneously. If you aren’t ready to invest money into this adventure, however, don’t fret: you don’t lose out on any additional content just because you don’t buy something from the store. Replayability is not too serious of an issue, although you will eventually unlock everything and beat all your friends’ high scores. While Temple Run 2 does not have the gameplay content of the mobile version of The Bard, it shouldn’t. It’s a casual game, which, if played fully to its ultimate completion, can take a veritable number of days if not weeks (best of all: it’s free!).
Overall, Temple Run 2 is a great download that you can play for a 5-minute break or hour-long “study” session. Its only flaws lie in the instability of rendering at high speeds and slightly less sensitivity on leaning left or right, both of which can be ignored once you get into the groove of the game. Buying gems and coins are a toss-up depending on the type of player you are, but overall aren’t too necessary if you play the game often. New players can easily take the endless runner on, and veterans will enjoy a number improvements from the first game. All in all, Temple Run 2 succeeds in being a pleasant sequel and not a neglected addition to the series.