Temple Run is a 2011 endless running video game developed and published by the Raleigh-based Imangi Studios. It is produced, designed and programmed by husband and wife team Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova, and with art by Kiril Tchangov. The game was initially released for iOS devices, and later ported to Android systems and Windows Phone 8.
A sequel to the original game was released on January 17, 2013 for iOS and on January 24 for Android. As of June 2014, Temple Run and its sequel have been downloaded over 1 billion times.
In Temple Run, the player controls an explorer who, having stolen a treasure from a temple, is chased by “demonic monkeys” who want to eat him/her. As the game is an endless running game, there is no end to the temple; therefore, the player plays until the character falls off the temple to his/her demise or is eaten by the crazed monkeys.
While the character is running, the player can tilt their device left or right to move the character to the left or right of the screen to collect coins or avoid objects. There are three types of coin: gold, red, and blue. A golden coin has a value of one credit, red is two credits and blue is three. The coins/credits can be used to buy and then upgrade power-ups and other characters. When the player needs to turn left or right, they swipe their finger across the touchscreen in the corresponding direction. If they wish to jump over an object, they swipe upwards; if they wish to slide under an object, they swipe downwards.
Since its initial release on the App Store on August 4, 2011, the popularity of the game has soared, to the point that Imangi Studios became more popular than Zynga. In the wake of this success, other developers created games of a similar style, such as Temple Guns, Temple Jump, and Pyramid Run.
In the iTunes Store, the game was included in the top 50 most-downloaded apps in December 2011 and eventually became the number one free iOS app in the Store. It also reached the position of the top grossing iOS app. Originally, the game was 99 cents to download, but Imangi switched the game to a freemium app prior to December 2011, which instead relied on players purchasing in-game coins with legal tender.
On January 12, 2012, Imangi announced on the Temple Run Facebook page that the game would be released for the Android platform in February, saying “We’re so excited to announce this and appreciate all of our fans’ support across both platforms!” The game was released on Google Play on March 27, 2012, a month later than expected. After Temple Run was released on Android, it was downloaded one million times in under three days.
As Temple Run was originally released with a custom, flexible engine on iOS, there were some difficulties when it was ported to Android, primarily related to the use of the Unity game engine. The game frequently crashed, occasionally caused devices to overheat, and drained battery life extremely quickly. This led to generally unfavourable reviews. Unlike the iOS version, the Android version was always freemium.
On March 27, 2013, the game was released for Windows Phone 8.