By now everyone is familiar with the phenomenon that Temple Run has become. The original title was downloaded and played by millions upon millions of people since its release in 2011 and sparked off a deluge of similar games, basically creating its own genre of 3rd-person runner.
Last June, Imangi Studios partnered with Disney for Temple Run: Brave [$1.99], a version of the game based on the hit movie. You know you're big time when you're partnering up with freaking Disney. Temple Run: Brave wasn't drastically different from the original, but the style of gameplay fit well within the scope of the movie and it was still a lot of fun, which was refreshing as movie tie-in games throughout history have tended to suck.
Then this past January, we got a proper sequel in Temple Run 2 [Free]. Again, it didn't make many changes to the core formula, but it got a huge visual upgrade and lots of little nips and tucks that made it feel tighter than the first game. Like Brave, Temple Run 2 was well-received and has been on cruise control in the top of the charts since its release.
That was just six weeks ago, but today Imangi and Disney have confirmed what was accidentally leaked early last month with the announcement of yet another Temple Run movie tie-in game, this time based on the upcoming film Oz the Great and Powerful. I thought running through the woods away from a pursuing bear was a great fit for Temple Run: Brave, but running down the Yellow Brick Road in Temple Run: Oz [$1.99] might just be the ultimate perfect premise.
Temple Run: Oz is built on the same engine as Temple Run 2, so the visuals are top notch and there's a much more natural and flowing feel to the landscape in its levels. Like Temple Run: Brave and its arrow shooting mechanic, Temple Run: Oz also looks to add its own personal touch with a hot-air balloon flying segment, which is really just a tilt-based coin collect-a-thon but breaks up the action and has a cool epic feel. There are also dynamic hazards you need to be careful of, like a crumbling statue that will block your path or an enemy that swoops in from the sky that you'll need to quickly duck under.
Another interesting thing about Temple Run: Oz is that upon first boot-up it will detect your device and download additional assets for the higher end devices, so it still remains under the download cap of 50mb but you have the option of having a visually superior version if your device can take it and you don't mind the extra space. Also whole new environments are downloaded over the air, and you'll actually have the option of choosing which environment you'll run to next if you follow the directions of the signs.
It's all really rather great. I've been playing Temple Run: Oz since yesterday, and as strange as it feels to say this about a movie tie-in promotional game, I think this might be the best Temple Run yet. Granted, with the proper sequel launching just a short time ago, maybe you're on Temple Run overload, and I get that. But for a buck, if you have any interest in the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful or are looking for more Temple Run goodness I think the Oz edition is a safe bet.
Also be sure to check out our TA Plays where Brad blows the exorbitant amount of $5 on in-app currency, or our forums where early impressions and discussion are rolling in. Temple Run: Oz is out right now for 99¢.
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