Thursday 14 June 2012

Temple Run: Brave Review - A Runaway Success For Disney and Imangi

A couple of weeks ago we reported that the recent string of pairing a popular mobile game with an upcoming animated movie was to continue with the mash-up of the immensely popular Temple Run and Pixar's latest feature film, Brave, with Temple Run: Brave.

Last year Disney released an original film tie-in game for Cars 2 (review here), a 2D platformer in the same vein as Halfbrick's Monster Dash. The game was a big commercial success, and I loved it on a critical level also - recent updates bringing new levels and more playable characters made it even better. But there's something about the familiarity of Temple Run: Brave, due to it being based on an existing property, that makes it that little bit more interesting.

Debuting on the iOS App Store in August 2010, Temple Run has been a phenomenal hit, being included as one of the 50 most downloaded iOS titles of the year last year and becoming a crazy success. The success of the iOS version spawned an Android version, which was downloaded a million times within its first three days. This immense popularity thrust the studio behind it, Imangi Studios, into the limelight, and led to this partnership with Disney, tying into Pixar's latest release, with Temple Run: Brave (released today).

The core mechanics of Temple Run remain the same here: swipe left or right to turn, swipe up to jump and swipe down to slide; avoid the obstacles and perilous drops; don't crash into anything, or it'll slow you down and the monsters chasing you will catch you, then it's game over. The aim of the game is to try and get as far as you can, collecting coins and power-ups along the way, and amass as high a score as possible.

There are, however, some pretty substantial differences to the gameplay - the largest of which is the addition of archery sections. At several points throughout the game, a symbol will appear notifying you that you're approaching an archery point, then you need to tap on targets at the left or right of the screen to check off a certain number of bonuses, garnering more points. The gameplay mechanic is hardly earth-shattering, but it's a fun little way to break up the sometimes-monotonous constant running and add a little variety to things - it also keeps you on your toes.

Also, although this may just be my imagination, the pace of things seems significantly faster here than in the original; making the game more exhilarating.

The overall look of the game has also been overhauled for Temple Run: Brave. Rather than an Indiana Jones-esque jungle, here you play in medieval scotland as Brave's fiery-haired protagonist, Merida. You're running away from the demon bear, Mor'du, who looks pretty terrifying with axes and spears protruding from his back. Far more visually stunning than its predecessor, Temple Run: Brave, has far better graphics than you'd expect from a mobile game like this. The trees, grass, ruins and brooding Scottish landscape all looks great in this relatively low-res form, so imagine how great the actual film is going to look!

Power-ups (the same as in the original game) appear and can be purchased from the in-game store with coins earned whilst playing. You actually get 2,500 coins for free when you buy the game. You can also purchase some alternate, Scottish themed, costumes for Merida and downloads such as wallpapers, giving you more incentive to play and replay the game.

To summarise, Temple Run: Brave is a fantastic game that actually improves on the fantastic original. It has brilliant graphics, great music, a wonderful core gameplay mechanic and, most importantly, is devilishly addictive - you'll be coming back for weeks and weeks to try and beat your friends' highscores. Admittedly, the somewhat linear premise (although it does have more variety than the original Temple Run) won't enthral you forever, but it'll be fun while it lasts.


Released today, Temple Run: Brave is available now on the iOS App Store and Android's Google Play for £0.69/$0.99.

1 comment:

  1. Love this game!!! Much better than Fruit Ninja Puss in Boots as well, IMO!

    Definitely worth getting!