Temple Run for iPhone Review

Temple Run is a running game made by Imangi Studios, that independent game company started by the husband and wife team Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova.

Temple Run Review For Iphone

Temple Run Game Mechanics

The game is quite simple really. In fact, you don’t need to do anything to “run” as your character automatically runs by itself right from the moment that you get the guts to grab the temple’s “idol” with angry demon monkeys relentlessly trying to catch-up with you.

Once the running starts, here are the things you should do:

  1. Swipe Left – doing this will let your character turn left when needed. If you do this prematurely however, you’ll end up doing a “near fall” or you’ll fall.
  2. Swipe Right – doing so will turn your character to the right given the right timing. Otherwise, the same as “swipe left” applies.
  3. Swipe Down – doing so will let your character perform a slide. You’ll need plenty of this to avoid getting bumping into trees, getting caught with traps, or getting burned alive.Temple Run Review For Iphone
  4. Swipe Up – doing so will let your character do a jump to avoid falling down the slippery cliffs, avoid traps or getting burned alive.Temple Run Review For Iphone
  5. Lean Left – this will bring your character to the left side of the temple’s runway allowing you to get coins on the left corner or to avoid tree roots blocking the right to center part of the runway.
  6. Lean Right – doing so will bring your character to the right part of the temple’s runway allowing you to get coins on the right corner or to avoid tree roots blocking the left to center part of the runway.Temple Run Review For Iphone

Temple Run Powerups

TR has 5 powerups for you to strive and upgrade. Here they are:

  1. Mega Coin – this powerup gives you bonus coins if you get them. If you wish to get to the million coin club, you’d want to get these in the early stage of your run.
  2. Coin Magnet – the coin magnet powerup will engulf your character with a visible magnetic field that attracts them coins as you run closer to them. With this, you don’t need to worry about having your character touch them coins anymore as they will magically get magnetized towards you.Temple Run Review For Iphone

This is very handy in the mid-late game as you won’t have much time to think about leaning left and right to grab as much coins as you can else you’ll end your run prematurely.

  1. Invisibility – this powerup grants you the ability to run through any obstacles that you would otherwise need to jump over or slide under. Even pathway pits become covered with a magical shield for you to be able to just run across them.

This is a great powerup in the mid-late game where survival is the key. This will keep you running enough to get more coins.

CAUTION: You will still need to swipe left or right to turn to the right direction else you’ll fall.

  1. Boost – this powerup makes you run so fast that you wouldn’t have the control to swipe left or right anymore. Pathway pits don’t even work anymore since your running like the flash.

This is another powerup that will get you more running time and hopefully coins.

  1. Coin Values – if you upgrade this powerup, the values of your coins becomes bigger every 1,000 meters up until 3,000 (this is just what I feel so please correct me if I’m wrong). The cheapest coins are gold then followed by red coins then comes the blue coins. If you want to get to the million dollar club, you will definitely need to fully upgrade this.

Temple Run Shop

Besides powerup upgrades, the TR shop also features 6 more characters (or runners) that you can unlock using the coins you have accumulated.

Apart from them characters, you can also buy special abilities that you can use while on the run. I’m not positive above all else but 2 of these abilities include the “resurrection” and “boost” ability.

The boost ability gives your character a boost during the start of the run and it could range from 1,000 meters to 2,500 meters if you buy the mega boost. Both cost 2,500 coins and 10,000 coins respectively.

The resurrect ability needs to be activated while on the run. This can be done by doing a “double click” on your screen. Once done, your character will have a visible angel’s wings for around a minute or two (if you know the exact number, please feel free to share). If you die with the angel’s wings still on, you will resurrect where you have died.

Temple Run Obstacles

Of course this game didn’t get to how popular it is now by simply doing the above-mentioned mechanics for nothing. Here are the reasons why you’ll need to do all of the character abilities as fast and effective as you can:

  1. Trees – there are trees with a hollow pathway at its foot for you to slide under else you want to end up being a “tree hugger”.
  2. Roots of some giant trees also abound and they partially block the pathway from 1 corner to the middle. You have the option to either lean to the other corner of the pathway or jump over the root altogether to avoid having them demon monkeys make a tasty snack out of you.
  3. Fire traps – these traps will make a well done version of you unless you jump over or slide under them. Temple Run Review For Iphone
  4. Tangling Traps – these traps will capture your character for them demon monkeys to make a feast of. Just like the fire traps, jump over or slide under them.
  5. Pits – the temple pathway isn’t as friendly as you might want so make sure you jump over them pits/cliffs to avoid becoming fish food for the hungry river monsters.

Temple Run Support

Although quite unusual, but I have to mention this since I accidentally needed to contact support for TR courtesy of my toddler’s knack for seemingly able to click on the right buttons to buy $19 worth of TR coins on his own. Google Play having access to 4 of my credit cards on Google’s file (I pay have been paying Google other services for awhile but I didn’t know they would keep my cards on record).

I tried to contact Google first to get the accidental charge resolve but after 2 weeks or so, no reply. Then I decided to contact TR and after a couple of days, I got refunded and was in contact with one of the makers of the game itself (at least in the email’s closing). Now that’s customer service! Or better yet, now that’s customer service better than Google!  Thanks again Jeff!

Tips in Getting to the Million Dollar Club

If you’re as competitive as I, you would want to get to as high a score as you can on TR. The most I’ve gotten has been a little over 2 million only and a distance of around 8,000 meters if you want to know. I’m sure many have gotten way more. Please share yours too by leaving a comment below. J

The way I see it, luck plays a huge factor in getting to the million dollar club. Every run of course is different and lady luck won’t be on your side on every single run.

Powerups play the most part in getting to the million dollar club and if luck is on your side, you’ll get them as often as you want and at the right timings too. Say the Coin Magnet powerup isn’t really much of a help in the early stages of the game where your running speed is still slow. You’d want to get the Coin Magnet and the Boost powerup together to make the perfect coin hoarding run. An few early Mega Coin powerups will also go a long way.

Using the Ressurect ability will also give you a second life making you able to continue your run. Just make sure you use it wisely and that’s easier said than done. In fact, I’ve found myself using it at the wrong times making them useless.

So What Makes Temple Run Special?

Given all the details I’ve just mentioned above, it might sound as if Temple Run is just another one of them running games isn’t it? You couldn’t be more wrong.

As an avid competitive gamer, I don’t normally find myself addictive to such relatively simple games (I normally compete in Starcraft 2 or DOTA) but TR has 1 thing that I find is the main reason for its catchiness. It has “variety within simplicity”.

How so? Well, in TR, the pathway is never really the same. There’s no way you can memorize where the next “double pits” is or where you should not slide to avoid missing the long jump.
Although I’ve played other running games that has this variety, it appears to me that TR has found the balance with its map variety and the game’s running speed increments.

And that for me is the main reason I, and the rest of those hooked, need another RUN!


No doubt about it, TR is the BEST RUNNING GAME I’ve played on a mobile. In fact, as mobile games go, it’s probably THE BEST I’ve played thus far.


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