Temple Run 2 isn't so much a new game, as it is a continuation. Developer Imangi builds off the success of its predecessor to offer better graphics, more unlocks, and the same incredibly addicting gameplay.
Developer: Imangi Studios
Platform: iOS, Android, Amazon
Not much has changed in Temple Run 2; the player still must run for their life through a series of randomly-generated levels avoiding traps while attempting to collect as many coins as possible. The levels never end and the only real goal is to wind through the series of twist and turns in an attempt to achieve the highest score possible. It's all rather simple, but that's what makes it so fantastic.
In line with the premise, the controls are straight forward; slide upwards to jump, down to slide, and to the sides to turn. Players can Tilt the device to slightly meander to the right or left for more subtle traversal. Best of all, the controls are responsive and accurate, which is welcomed as the game will require quick and precise reactions to achieve higher scores.
Where Temple Run 2 does show some improvements is in its new fresh coat of paint, offering a brighter color pallet and tighter graphics. With its new graphical fidelity, Temple Run 2 introduces a variety of new traps, including flamethrowers and large spike wheels. The game also includes a new mine cart mechanic that helps to mix up the gameplay and keep things fresh.
After completing runs, players amass coins and gems. As you'd expect, coins work as a means of currency allowing players to unlock new characters, buffs, and bonuses. You can increase the chances of obtaining power-ups, the duration of said power-ups, or increase their point multipliers allowing them to achieve even higher scores.
The level system helps create a sense progression throughout the game. As players get better and level up they also unlock more power-ups, which help them to achieve higher scores. Temple Run 2 always makes the player feel like they are getting better, and it's that constant flow of progressions that will draw players in again and again.
Gems which are far rarer, and they also act as a means of currency. Gems basically serve as "lives", as they allow the player to continue a run after they have died. Be careful though, as continuous use of gems will increase the cost, making the next revival all the more expensive. Gems on the surface seem like an interesting risk/reward mechanic; the problem is that the game's micro-transactions significantly dilute that risk/reward mentality.
As a "free to play game" it comes as no surprise that Temple Run 2 host micro-transactions. In fact, the micro-transactions in the game are similar to those implemented in the original version. However, as companies continue to use this mechanic in free-to-play games, it's expected that they'll become smarter with how they implement these purchases. Unfortunately, Imangi has not done that.
In a vacuum, these transactions are not a big deal. Playing alone, you're able to easily regulate how much they want these purchases affect their game. However, the real issues come with its impact on the multiplayer version. As a score-driven game, Temple Run 2 is all about beating your friend's best score and lording over them in superiority. However, with these transactions changing how everything works, the competitive nature of the game is all but lost.
Players can simply pay to win, buying gems for continuations and coins for greater score boosts. In Temple Run 2 it is difficult to decipher if a player is good or simply rich.
The sloppy micro-transactions are undoubtedly a blemish on this game. However, if you can get past their impact, the game is certainly worth the download. Everything from the mechanics to the visuals are simple, precise, and most importantly fun.
Temple Run 2 is the perfect example how clean basic game design can create some of the most enjoyable experiences on the mobile platform.
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