Following its Disney tie-up, Temple Run: Brave, Disney Mobile and Imangi has teamed up for the second time with Temple Run: Oz. If you’ve been living under a rock, Oz refers to the recently released motion picture, “Oz the Great and Powerful”. I have yet to see the movie, but the game is exceptionally vibrant and actually revived my love for Temple Run. So what makes it different from its predecessors? Let’s take a trip down the yellow brick road and see.
An intriguing landscape
In true Temple Run fashion, the game starts with establishing the playing field — three vicious, winged creatures (which, apparently are flying baboons) appear atop a rock where the hero comes out from below. The landscape feels the same yet looks eerily different. The most prominent change is the iconic yellow brick road lined by big forest trees and vines. The path is often blocked by the staple upper and lower obstacles — this version employs ambigous structures that looks like they’re part of the landscape. Dodging these obstacles require the same swiping technique, in addition to turning left or right on a path.
The road less traveled is a bumpy one
Running is the name of the game, but Oz makes it a bit more challenging. For instance, there are surprise obstacles that appear on the path at the last minute, so you need to be able to anticipate this. This includes huge roots that suddenly come up from the ground, blocks of cement and other debris one might expect from the wonderful word of Oz. One way to watch out for these unwelcome surprises is to look at how the floating coins (the ones that float above the path) are positioned. If a line of coins arch upwards as if to make room for something below, you can be sure there will be something below at a given moment. Most of the time, that given moment will not work in your favor.
Power ups, abilities and other items are also available in the store. Most of them can be bought with game coins, while others with real money. I found it’s not that difficult to collect a decent amount of coins for at least one power up every other time. Head starts are my favorite, and it should be yours too if you’re not that good with running games. Just remember that these power ups mostly expire after one or two game so use them wisely.
Beyond the yellow brick road
Other surprises include finding a hot air balloon waiting for you at the end of the path, and this takes you up in the clouds where you can collect as much coins as you want without the fear of stumbling, falling or whacking yourself to death.
Although Temple Run is primarily a beat-your-own-record game, I was delighted to find there is some sort of level up and a reward system just like games of other genres. Completing a level awards you with x number of coins, which was very cool for me indeed. Did I mention I’m a horrible runner both in games and real life? Moving on. . .
So after surviving the first “level” of the game, I was completely immersed and captivated. The shift in environment is dramatically rendered as the player finds himself in a tunnel of cloud and into the next frontier. I absolutely loved the transitions. Just imagine being taken out of a sunny wonderland and into a creepy, dark forest. This game is truly compelling in this aspect, and fans of both the game and the movie will definitely agree. In fact, I daresay this version is even more intense than the original.
In even better news, Temple Run: Oz saves the last location you’ve played in. In other words, you won’t have to start at the very beginning — which is what I didn’t like when I first played the original Temple Run. This is great for a struggling player like me, since I don’t feel like I’ve wasted all previous efforts no matter how futile and small.
There are so many things to love about this game, but it also comes at a price. Temple Run: Oz is not free, and may feel like yet another money-making strategy for Disney and the game devs. However, it does give the movie justice, and it’s worth every penny. The graphics are top notch — one of the best I’ve seen in an Android game. There’s also the convenience of getting to play the entire game without having to do any in-app purchase, one of the perks of paid games in the Play Store. And, oh, definitely no ads!
While this game is absolutely awesome, do remember that this requires an upright sitting position when being played. This is, of course, due to the fact that the device needs to be tilted sideways for moving the hero along the road. Also, let me add that this game’s awesomeness is directly proportional to battery consumption, as it sucks out juice pretty fast. Just have a charger ready and you’re good to go.
You don’t have to be a fan of the movie to like this game, but if you are a fan then you will love this game. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to run like crazy along a yellow brick road with flying baboons on your tail and giant roots popping up the path, then come on in to the great and powerful world of Oz.