Twice as high as the other guy!

Temple Run 2 review
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Temple Run 2 review

So similar, but still so addictive.

The verdict:

Although it's still quite similar to its predecessor, this is still a mercilessly addictive game.

Temple Run 2, which was released a few weeks ago, has already amassed millions of downloads on iOS and Android (becoming the fastest-growing mobile game in history). With the original having been downloaded 175 million times en route to becoming one of the most successful, talked-about mobile games since Snake, it’s not hard to see exactly why. The sequel boasts exactly what you’d expect out of a sequel to something so damn successful – better graphics, more unlocks, subtle additions and changes to gameplay, and more ways to spend your hard-earned money on something so inconsequential – but unfortunately, doesn’t really build on the original too much.

For the 6.825 billion people who never played the original, Temple Run is an endless runner where the player character – an archaeologist, adventurer, policeman or football (of the American variety) star – decides it’s a good idea to steal an idol from a civilisation of weird monkey-druid things. Needless to say, the outcome is that character bursting back out of the entrance to the temple, running for dear life from one of said weird monkey-druid things (which I’ll just be calling “monkeys” from now on). Your path is constructed as you go, meaning that no two runs are exactly the same, and you need to jump and slide through various obstacles while collecting various coins and power ups to help you get the best score possible.

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Unfortunately, with three years between the two games, Temple Run 2 can be summarised in the same way. Honestly, I could end the review right there and you really wouldn’t be missing too much information. Sure, they’ve added a couple of neat new powerups, a few variations on the endless-running game over 175 million people came to love, and the monkeys are now sending their big daddy to chase your rather than a group of their babies, but aside from that… Not much has changed. Therefore, rather than a review structured like the rest of those here on Doublejump, I’m simply going to go through the major new features and talk about how they change the game, and what I think of them.

Path variations: The addition of 3D environments means that rather than a simple straight line run, the randomly-generated path includes hills, stairwells and subtle curves which is a neat touch, occasionally confusing which is the intention, and adds a little bit of flavour to the endless running that we’re all so used to from the original. However, the major addition on this note is the mine carts and rope swings, both of which are fun but not entirely game-changing. The mine carts introduce forks in the track, where you must tilt in the right direction to avoid hitting the wall, while the rope swings have no obstacles at all (except, of course, for having to jump and grab on). There’s also a couple of new obstacles: a large rock formation and a waterfall which the player can fall into if they’re slow enough to react). Again, while they’re not utterly game-changing, gripping additions to the game, the variations on the original Temple Run‘s straight-line path are a great, interesting addition to the game.

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Speed: On the original Temple Run, I always felt quite overwhelmed by how quickly the speed increased as I headed north of a million points (granted, that wasn’t often). It felt like it was very quick to reach the top speed, which has been addressed in Temple Run 2. The increase in speed is subtle enough so that I don’t feel overwhelmed, but not so subtle that you can’t tell it’s happening, and I really like it that way.

New power-ups: While the “boost”, “coin magnet” and “mega coin” power-ups from the original Temple Run return, with the same upgrade tree to boot, Temple Run 2 introduces four new ones: “shield”, which allows you to take one hit that would normally kill you and continue as though you’d tripped; “coin bonus”, “score bonus”, and “gem bonus”, which are self-explanatory (gems will be discussed later). While the shield can be picked up in general play, the three bonuses can only be acquired (along with the other power-ups, of course) through the new power-up meter in the top left-hand corner of the screen. The meter fills with every coin the player collects, and once filled can be activated by tapping the screen twice. While the power-ups collected in game can be upgraded just like the original, those collected through the power-up meter must be upgraded separately, using gems, and certain new ones can only be unlocked by purchasing the extra characters for coins.

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Gems: The addition of another currency to the game adds a whole new group of upgrades to unlock as mentioned above, but also the ability to revive yourself if you die, for a fee that doubles each time you use it in the same run. While this “Save Me!” option is a pretty cool addition if you’re trying to beat your friend’s high score, it does take the credit out of the highest-scoring runs – even after the recent patch added a leaderboard for runs without using a “Save Me!”. With more upgrades to purchase, players who like to unlock everything will be stuck on the game for a lot longer before it becomes something where they just play to beat their friend’s high score, which is good.

Levels: Temple Run 2 also contains a levelling system, which impacts what you can unlock to a certain extent. With every level up you earn a coin reward, and you can level up by completing missions, which are given three at a time. The levelling system is cool, and has kept me playing quite regularly while I try and complete the missions and level all the way up.

All in all, while Temple Run 2 doesn’t really bring us anything majorly game-changing, it’s absolutely not a bad game. It’s still had me playing for hours on end, trying to level up and unlock everything that I can, and it’s still got me trying (and failing, miserably) to beat my friends’ self-reported high scores. If you haven’t already, get your hands on this game if you’re looking for a way to pass the time – just make sure you’re sitting upright when you play, or else your accelerometer might just trip out.

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