It feels like behind-the-back endless runners are as popular on the App Store as cover-based shooters are on consoles. I'm probably inflating how widespread these two genres are on their respective platforms, but you get my point: there are a lot of highly derivative Temple Run games on the App Store. As these games continue to pile on top of each other, points of iteration become increasingly more important to sales and my sanity. Goroid Games' The End App doesn't reinvent the genre by any means, but it's doing enough thematically to keep my interest.

Just so we're on the same page, The End App is a behind-the-back endless runner, and it shares a boatload of mechanics that Temple Run established as the norm -- its currency and IAP system, title and swipe controls, and its style of play are all present in The End App. Where you see some spots of actual differentiation are in its urban hazards, light-hearted tone, striking look, and its slightly tweaked damage model.

So, at some point in the near future, the world basically dies and duct tape becomes a thing you use to buy other things. That's the premise of The End App, a game where you play as a runner looking to score duct tape in an urban ruin.

Though grim-sounding, the world is surprisingly colorful -- in a Brink sort of way. There's a lot of crisp blues, greens, and other colors-that-aren't-brown. Plus, foliage still exists and sky isn't some sort of leaky, inky mess. These are awesome touches that give The End App some life, not to mention oomph. The stuff you'll be avoiding kinda does the same: the lava pits, cracked cement, jackknifed trucks and broken cars, and the ramps are different, which make it feel fresher than most games in the genre. And while it's mildly disappointing that the tone of the game doesn't double-down on the ridiculousness of the game's setup, this is, overall, as cheery as you'd think it would be.

It's totally possible to bump into some of these hazards and not die, by the way, and that's a cool point of design. If you bang into a car while tilting to pick up a snaking line of duct tape, for example, your screen turns a shade of crimson for a few seconds. In a single run, you're allowed five or six of these before you're yanked out.

We've got some footage of the game in action below. It plays as sharply as it looks. Swipe feels good, tilt is definitely, and whatever voodoo is behind the random mapping does a pretty good job at sculpting fairly fun experiences over and over again.

Anyway, in an ideal world, a new game like The End App would offer more on the mechanical side to make it feel truly special. But while it doesn't necessarily iterate, it's an endless runner that offers a new, and thematically different, world to explore.  You'll probably want to give this a shot.

The End App will be available July 5 on iPad and iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh Hofer

    Such a shame it doesn't come out before the short (US) holiday tomorrow.

  • JkR93

    Looks better than most other Runner games and really excited to get my hands on this!

  • Taeles

    Sweet game, thanks for the gameplay, question though does it have achievements via gamecenter?

    • JkR93

       Yes, it has achivements and leaderboards for game center! awesome right :-)

  • leave_it_its_beaver

    This seems pretty good for the genre, except the character looks floaty. The running animation doesn't really look right.

  • Dpad

    Do we need another temple run? No just no!

  • ImJPaul

    Finally. Pumped. Wonder what other goodies will be released tmrw. Infinity Blade Dungeons? Doubt it.

  • http://playfo.com/ Playfo team

    Nice to see that Temple Run evolved to standalone game genre

  • DecafTable

    Just wanted to let you guys know that I really enjoy listening to your game reviews. It's casual and fun, yet informative at the same time. Keep 'em coming!

  • DecafTable

    Just wanted to let you guys know that I really enjoy your game reviews. It's casual and fun, while also being informative and to the point. I look forward to many more!

  • HandzThatKillz

    Looks fun, even if it's just Temple Run in the future. I'll definitely try it out!

  • http://twitter.com/chaosz911 René de Groot

    Still not available in The Nertherlands :(

  • http://twitter.com/i7assan Hasan Aldalooj

    Pepsi man!

  • cosmicrob

    I'd like to see this type of Temple Run style game but with actual levels and maybe a change of scenery or an ultimate goal. Something to work towards.

  • http://twitter.com/rtalex412 Ryan Alexander

    Anybody know how to pass the Post Your Score challenge? Posted to twitter twice and it still shows up as not passed! ????

    • larry davy

      You can pass it buy using DT. There is an option on the screen to pass it. Look very hard, it's there :)

    • http://twitter.com/relentlessshark kevin fitzpatrick

      U HAVE to post on Facebook. Twitter post for whatever reason doesn't count.

  • larry davy

    Great game! Love every aspet on it! I haven't spent more than the pro upgrade, and am currently #10 on the game center leaderboards! A higher FPS, more vivid colors, and far better graphics than temple run, make it a superior game.

    I am having an issue that I would appreciate some help with. There is an achievement named "Precision" that says to collect EXACTLY 42 DT. I assumes that meant, collect 42 DT, then die, but I gain no progress when I do that. What does the achievement mean? Thanks for all your help!

    • http://twitter.com/relentlessshark kevin fitzpatrick

      Yea, collect the number and die. As the number goes up it gets harder, a lot harder. Next numbers are 666, 2013, and then 4044. If u did it, and didn't see the achievement popup, just check the tab, u may have gotten it and it just doesn't tell u.