Temple Run appeared to little fanfare back in August 2011. It is a game in which the player takes control of an explorer attempting to flee the ruins of a temple, stolen idol in hand. With just four moves possible – left, right, jump and duck – the game is simple to understand and easy to play. Complicating matters are an array of hazards along the way, including sharp turns, sudden drops, low hanging trees and barriers of fire – not to mention the pack of demonic monkeys in close pursuit!
Originally an iOS game – available on the iPod, iPhone and iPad – it didn’t make much of an impact at first. Typical of some big App Store successes like Angry Birds, it cost $0.99. It didn’t make much of an impact at the time, so a little over a month later, the developers – Imangi Studios – tried the seemingly counter-intuitive move of making the game entirely free to download and play.
Supported by the ‘freemium’ model – free to play but with the option to use real-world money to purchase in-game coins – the game soon shot to the top of the charts in several countries, immediately quadrupling the developers’ revenue. This model looks to be the way forward for game makers wanting to produce the next big hit, but it of course carries a certain risk that no money will be brought in at all.
The sudden popularity of the game persuaded the developers to create an unplanned Android version, which was released in March 2012. The Android version looks to have been a good idea because it passed 10 million downloads in under a month. This, despite some initial teething troubles with many users reporting the game ran slowly or had glitches rendering it unplayable. Officially compatible with over 700 Android models on release, recent updates have increased that number and have fixed most of the reported issues. The latest update has added the seemingly ubiquitous Twitter integration – a feature yet to make it to the original Apple version. It’s taken the iOS version eight months to reach the staggering figure of 60 million downloads, and it will be interesting to see if they can surpass that figure on Google’s platform.
The recently announced tie in with Spin Master will see Temple Run branded card and board games appearing in retail stores, continuing the growth of this brand to new heights.
This article was contributed by Temple Run Online, where you can find more news and tips about the game.