The Game: Temple Run Brave
The Device: iPhone 4
The Price: 99 cents for Android or iOS
The Basics: Fox teamed up with Rovio for Angry Birds Rio and it was hugely popular. Disney saw that and said “Hey! Why don’t we rebrand a popular mobile game too?”
So they got in contact with Temple Run developer Imangi and we now have a new version of the game in the style of Pixar’s upcoming film Brave. One might question the intelligence of Disney to force the lead protagonist of their huge property into a game where it’s impossible to win but hey, sales talk and Temple Run is one of the most popular apps of all time.
The Review: Have to admit, it was pretty tempting to take the text from my previous review of Temple Run and repost it here, inserting “Disney” and “Brave” into the review every few sentences as applicable. There’s really not much of a difference.
As in Temple Run you’re running for your life from certain doom, trying to make it further than you did last time before eventually failing. This time you play as Merida, Brave’s fiery redheaded Scottish princess, who runs automatically from some giant unnamed beast – possibly the bear that was featured in the film’s trailer. (There’s bears in Scotland, right?) The description in the app store actually reveals the creature to be “Mordu, the demon bear”, but there’s no explanation given to why she’s running from the thing. It has spears and arrows protruding from its back and it’s bellowing in anger and pain, so it’s best to just keep going and not question things.
As Merida runs she’ll come across the usual Temple Run obstacles, from branches that trip you up to pits to fall in. You’ll swipe to change direction and jump or slide under obstacles. The one Temple Run mainstay that’s conspicuously absent is the fire traps, but then again I guess it wouldn’t do to have Merida burnt to a crisp, even though she can die in other horrible ways.
Since you’re in a Scottish forest instead of a temple they’ve upgraded the graphics a bit to make it look a lot better than the original. The path is full of vegetation and Merida’s animation is much better than the jerky motions of Guy Dangerous. There’s a few audio clips from the film as well, which soon get repetitive.
The only real addition to the gameplay is archery. Merida is an accomplished archer and occasionally on her frantic run for her life she’ll see archery targets on the side of the path. The top of the screen will reveal how many targets there are to hit and as they come up you tap on them to fire off an arrow. It offers a tiny change of gameplay and a respite from the increasingly fast jumps and turns, even if it doesn’t exactly make sense that she should be trying to hone her archery skills on inanimate targets while a rampaging beast stomps after her.
But otherwise the game’s the same. It’s just as addictive as ever, and you’ll certainly play it a billion times trying to get more coins to unlock power-ups and new outfits.
The catch? The app costs a buck. Since Temple Run is free it’s impossible to recommend this in good conscience, especially since the upgrades are minimal. You’re basically paying for an ad, and there’s no reason to part with your money when you can get the same experience for free.
The Final Grade: B