If your cravings for behind-the-back runners somehow still isn't satiated, or you've felt the genre was lacking in the social engagement area, then Zynga is hoping to woo you with their newest title Running with Friends. You can probably guess exactly what it is by the title alone: a Temple Run-like endless runner decked out with the social trappings that Zynga's games are known for. Running with Friends was briefly launched in the Canadian App Store back in January, but if you blinked you would have missed it. It appears they weren't quite ready to hit the market, but are taking another stab at it today according to an article at VentureBeat.

The plan is to launch Running with Friends in the Canadian App Store again as a soft launch, with a worldwide rollout happening about a month from now if everything goes smoothly. Right now, in fact, a version of the game is available in the Canadian App Store called Running with Friends Free [Free]. As with many other Zynga games, I'm thinking there might be an ad-free pay-up-front version at some point too.

As for the game itself, Running with Friends is set at the famous Running of the Bulls event in Pamplona, Spain. That's a pretty darn great setting for a Temple Run-like game, I have to say. Mechanics appear pretty standard, with plenty of swiping, jumping and sliding, though there are sections with breakable objects to smash through and occasionally you'll actually be able to hitch a ride on an actual bull. There are also 3 playable characters: a ninja, a ballerina, and a zombie. Here's a couple of App Store screens.

With Zynga's reputation of borrowing a little too liberally from the design book of other popular games, Running with Friends will no doubt take some heat. The truth is though, there's no less than one zillion Temple Run knockoffs in the App Store, and if anything I'm surprised it's taken this long for Zynga to put out their own game in the genre. I'm also curious to see how playing with other people works out, as it might end up being pretty cool.

If you're Canadian or have access to a Canadian App Store account, you can check out the game for free with the link below. Keep in mind that it's iPhone or iPod touch only, no iPad support. You can also drop some comments in our discussion forum and keep your eye out for a worldwide launch of Running with Friends in the near future.

[VentureBeat]

Canadian App Store Link: Running with Friends Free, Free

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002107668714 Давид Абабеков

    Runners everywhere we go!

  • MrSHakerEsq

    There's that stupid logo in the corner of the icon again folks.

  • csparker@hotmail.com

    Even though I really like the "running with the bulls in Pamplona" premise, I still can't bring myself to download a Zynga game.

    • Gamer_Kev

      I feel the same. Even though this sounds somewhat interesting as far as endless runners go, I just can't bring myself to put anything from this crummy company on any of my iOS devices. After all, how can I support a company that is giving bulldogs a bad name?

      • Alex

        Do tell. What is so crummy about this company?

      • DannyTheElite

        The dream heights scandal

  • Dreamo84

    We didn't have enough runners

  • Adams Immersive

    Zynga managed to drive me away from some of my favorite games (Words With Friends), and make shameless clones of others (Nimblebit's Tiny Tower). I just can't touch Zynga anymore. For what it's worth, though, this one does not look like a shameless Temple Run clone! Cynical cash grab, yes; pay-to-win, probably. Shameless Subway Surfers clone? A bit. But with some new stuff for sure.

  • Karzay

    Yeesh... Is there a Temple Run with Friends app? TA looks like a professional gaming news and review site, but the content just shows it's really just a blog with friends.

    Is it really too hard to write an unbiased article and just report the news for once? Why should anyone care about what TA says about the quality of a game, when TA doesn't really care about the quality of it's own content?

    Am I wrong to expect as much?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I'm... confused as to what it is you're even criticizing? What exactly is the bias you're referring to?

      • Karzay

        I'm referring to your biased for Temple Run and against Zynga as it's clearly expressed in your article.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Could you cite an example of it being clearly expressed? You're still not doing a very good job of making your point, I'm afraid.

      • Karzay

        Sure, I'll try and help you understand better. One example of a biased statement is, "That's a pretty darn great setting for a Temple Run game, I have to say."

        Referring to it as Temple Run when it isn't, is clearly biased. You're implying certain things about the game before having played it first hand. Being in third person view and an endless runner doesn't make it Temple Run.

        And you don't know how much the social factor and running with friends changes the gameplay... until playing it. You're making unfair assumptions based on what you already know about Temple Run and how Zynga operates. In case the definition of "bias" is what's confusing, here's the definition:

        Bias: an inclination of outlook. An instance of prejudice.

        I hope that helps clears things up.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        TouchArcade is an opinion-driven game discovery site at the end of the day, not a cold and hard news site.

      • Zeldaniac

        Yes indeed.

      • Karzay

        Nothing wrong with that, but you promote yourselves as a news and review site instead of a gaming blogging site.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I guess I assumed our format was blatantly obvious to most people.

      • Karzay

        It is after you read it.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        So wait, this argument is based on not confusing people who don't read our site?

      • Karzay

        No, but take as much time as you need to understand it.

      • Themagicjesus

        Jeez what an arrogant prick you are.

      • Karzay

        Yes, TheMagicJesus. Let's lower our conversation to a level a childish level and we can try to communicate with insults and pulling hair. We wouldn't want to exclude you now, would we? Thank you for speaking up and letting me know you exist.

      • classicrockme

        You suck Eli!!!

      • classicrockme

        I know my comment makes me look 15 years old. Don't care to put any thought into it considering you've made it perfectly clear that you think you are better than anyone who questions the way TA does its business.

      • Zeldaniac

        "Being an endless runer in third person doesn't make it Temple Run."

        You're right. It makes it another lame TR clone.

      • Karzay

        Only if you have a limited imagination.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Wow, weird you would respond with such snark. I was honestly curious what you meant and wanted to understand more, so I asked as politely as possible.

        Anyway, it's common knowledge to anybody with even a passing interest in iOS gaming that Temple Run started the trend of 3rd person runners on iPhone. Subsequently, it's referred to all the time to explain what kind of gameplay a game has. Not by just me, but the entire industry. Same as if you said Tetris-like or Bejeweled-like, it doesn't mean you have some bias for those games over the one you're comparing it to. Hell, the source article's title is "Chasing Temple Run, Zynga Launches Running with Friends Mobile Game."

        If me using the term "a Temple Run game" rather than "a Temple Run-like game" is what confused you, that's a fair criticism and I'll update that line to be more clear. Otherwise it looks like you're grasping for something that isn't there.

        To your second example, "I'm also curious to see how playing with other people works out, as it might end up being pretty cool."

        I honestly AM curious how this type of game will be with a multiplayer/social component. Should I not state my curiosity? And how exactly does being interested in an aspect of a new game make me biased?

      • venasque

        Wow you need a hobby dude. You should try gaming.

      • Karzay

        Thanks little dude. And you should give advise more often, because you are so smart and you do it so well.

      • venasque

        Thanks! I appreciate that. Have an awesome weekend.

    • http://matt-curtis.me/ Matt Curtis

      Have you ever wanted to do more look like?

      • Karzay

        Can you rephrase that, please?

    • monoclespectacle

      Article seemed to roll it eyes at, yet another, iOS runner. Made fun of Zynga and their super sweet-mega-ultra-bunker-busting original development. And said the only redeeming aspect of the game may be the social angle. Considering the article is covering the soft release in Canada (which it did, along with back story on the original soft release and subsequent shelving until now) I really don't know what you expected.

      Seems pretty spot on in my opinion. May need to get that reading comprehension checked....or a full frontal lobotomy, whichever fits into your schedule.

      • Karzay

        That's sums up what I meant about biased. I'm not disagreeing with the opinion, but real news just reports facts and lets the audience draw their own conclusions.

      • Jerutix

        But it's not simply a news site. There are always opinions in stuff. I don't think anyone has ever pretended not to have opinions and biases. If you want straight news, find a site that just uses press releases.

      • Karzay

        Having opinions and biases, and expressing them are two different things. You can report news without displaying your biases. Editorials are for that.

        And I already do monitor press releases by studios, and visit other gaming news and review sites. I'm not going to boycott TA because of biases.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        We're an opinion-driven site, bro.

      • monoclespectacle

        Okay but Zybga has had success using specific formulas and operation of other established games. There are an extremely high amount of runners and as such there isn't much space to expand the genre without grabbing from others. The game was soft released in Canada for the second time.

        Not sure what other facts you are looking for from an iOS gaming app. I will refrain from any further insults but I believe you need to be more specific in your complaint. As it stands your original comment/criticism makes no sense to myself and others.

      • MidianGTX

        Zynga had success in what? Last I heard they were in trouble because their crappy, greedy, thieving formula finally caught up to them.

    • Eidaven

      You seem to have some bias against TA...

      • Karzay

        I'm not biased against TA. If I didn't want to see them do better, I wouldn't point out what they are doing wrong. Also note, I have made positive comments about TA before.

      • grindmysmile

        They're doing fine without you.

      • Karzay

        Ok.

  • MidianGTX

    Games like this are the reason parents buy their kids a Wii, and the reason the informed gaming community doesn't take the Wii too seriously.

    • MidianGTX

      Shigeru Miyamoto read my comment.

  • Dams

    I can't wait for the Samsung's take on the iPad mini.

    Seems to be the way we say 'to copy' nowadays :-)

    • WarMachine

      Wat?

  • JaysUsernam

    Tried it out-not bad as far as a casual/social game is concerned-nice and simple, easy to initiate games. If you've played Hangin with friends you'll be very comfortable with the interface.

    HOWEVER...there seems to be a deal breaker. You run till you crash. Once you crash, you should be done, but you can pay to continue with in-game currency. To me, this breaks the multiplayer balance and makes it a pay to win-he who buys the most continues wins. Too bad, take this out and it would go in my casuals/social folder no problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yda.laguna1 Yda Laguna

    How to delete old active game? Cannot start a new one because of to many active games

  • http://www.facebook.com/crazyamy68 Amy Louise Higgins

    does anybody know how to delete old games, i have payed with someone who has not played for 6 days yet i cant delete the game with them it just keeps saying nnudge grrr...xx

  • http://www.fri-v.com/ Friv

    i think i should try gaming.