Temple Run

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Temple Run
App icon
Developer(s) Imangi Studios[1]
Publisher(s) Imangi Studios[1]
Artist(s) Kiril Tchangov[1]
Engine Temple Run engine (iOS)
Unity (Android)[2]
Platform(s) iOS
Windows Phone 8
Release iOS
  • WW: August 4, 2011[3]
  • WW: March 27, 2012[4]
Windows Phone 8
  • WW: March 27, 2013[5]
Genre(s) Endless runner
Mode(s) Single-player

Temple Run is a 2011 3D endless running video game developed and published by Imangi Studios.[6][7] It is produced, designed and programmed by husband-and-wife team Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova,[1] and with art by Kiril Tchangov.[1] The game was initially released for iOS devices,[3] and later ported to Android systems[4] and Windows Phone 8.[5]

A sequel, Temple Run 2, was released on January 17, 2013, for iOS,[8] and on January 24 for Android,[9] with the original game renamed to Temple Run: Classic.[10] As of June 2014, Temple Run and its sequel have been downloaded over 1 billion times.[11]



In Temple Run, the player controls either Guy Dangerous, an explorer, Scarlett Fox, an escape artist, Barry Bones, a city cop, Karma Lee, the fastest runner in the Far East, Montana Smith, the "second greatest explorer ever" (referring to Indiana Jones being the greatest explorer), Francisco Montoya, a Spanish conquistador, or Zack Wonder, a football star. The character chosen will embark on an adventure to seek an ancient and valuable golden idol from an Aztec temple. They will not realize that the temple is inhabited by a family of demonic monkeys who want to devour them. As the game is an endless running game, there is no end to the temple; the player plays until the character collides into a large obstacle, falls into the water or is overtaken by the demon monkeys.

While the character is running, the player can swipe left or right to move the character to either side of the screen to collect coins and/or avoid obstacles. There are three types of coins to be found while the character is running: gold, red, and blue. A gold coin will only add one coin to the player's total number of coins. Red coins are worth two coins, while blue coins are worth three. The coins can be used to buy and then upgrade power-ups and/or other characters. Coins can also be bought by the player through in-app purchases with payments of actual money. When the player needs to turn left or right, the touchscreen can be swiped in the corresponding direction. If the player wishes to jump over an object, the screen can be swiped upwards; if the player wishes to slide under an object, the screen can be swiped downwards.


Since its initial release on the App Store on August 4, 2011,[3] the popularity of the game has soared,[12] to the point that Imangi Studios became more popular than Zynga.[13] In the wake of this success, other developers created games of a similar style, such as Temple Guns, Temple Jump,[12]Piggy Run, Zombie Run and Pyramid Run.[14]

In the iTunes Store, the game was included in the top 50 most-downloaded apps in December 2011,[15] and eventually became the number one free iOS app in the Store. It also reached the position of the top grossing iOS app.[16] 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.[17]

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!"[18] The game was released on Google Play on March 27, 2012, a month later than expected.[19] After Temple Run was released on Android, it was downloaded one million times in under three days.[20]

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,[21] occasionally caused devices to overheat, and drained battery life extremely quickly.[22] This led to generally unfavourable reviews.[23] Unlike the iOS version, the Android version was always freemium.

On March 27, 2013, the game was released for Windows Phone 8.[5]


Temple Run: Brave

Temple Run: Brave
Temple Run Brave logo.png
App logo
Developer(s) Imangi Studios[1]
Publisher(s) Disney Interactive Studios
Engine Unity 
Platform(s) iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10
Release iOS & Android
Windows 8 & Windows RT
  • WW: May 10, 2013[26]
Windows Phone 8
  • WW: June 7, 2013[27] BlackBerry 10
    • WW: April 3, 2014[28]
Genre(s) Endless runner/Action
Mode(s) Single-player

In June 2012, it was announced that Imangi had teamed with Disney to promote the film Brave via a Temple Run-style game titled Temple Run: Brave. The game was released on June 14 for iOS and Android.[24][25] As with Temple Run when it was initially released, Temple Run: Brave cost 99 cents to purchase.[29] After Temple Run: Brave's release on the App Store, the game topped the charts as the most-downloaded paid game.[30]

Temple Run: Brave is set in the highlands of Scotland. The default character is Merida, and as in the original game, the objective is to keep running, avoiding the dangers along the way in an effort to achieve the longest time possible, while being chased by the demon bear, Mor'du.[31]

The new feature for Temple Run: Brave is archery. During the run, archery symbols appear with some dots above them, acting as a signal that there will be bullseyes at which to shoot. The dots are the number of targets in the area. On the left and right sides, the player will then find archery targets, and by touching the screen, an arrow is shot accurately at the upcoming target. When the player finishes hitting all targets in the area, they get a coin bonus, and must then wait for another area with archery targets.[32]

In an update, Temple Run: Brave received a new power-up, the "Will-o'-the-Wisps", which appear in the game randomly. When the player grabs it, they are transported to a "dark" version of the game world, where glowing wisps appear in the player's path. The player has to grab as many as they can, while still navigating the turns and jumps.[33]

In 2013, Temple Run: Brave was ported to Windows Phone 8,[27] and both Windows 8 and Windows RT (via Windows Store).[26] In 2014, it was ported to BlackBerry 10.[28]

Temple Run: Oz

A second spinoff game, called Temple Run: Oz, based on the Disney film Oz the Great and Powerful, was released on February 27, 2013, for iOS, to coincide with the release of the film.[34] On August 28, 2013, Temple Run: Oz was released for Windows Phone 8.[35]

Temple Run: Treasure Hunters

In late 2016, Scopely soft-launched a match-3 spin-off of Temple Run, titled Temple Run: Treasure Hunters, in select countries.[36] Treasure Hunters was planned to be released sometime in 2017[37] on iOS and Android, with the Google Play Store accepting pre-registrations for the Android version.[38]


In November 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Warner Bros. Pictures and producer David Heyman were in talks with Imangi Studios to make a movie version of Temple Run.[39]


In July 2014 a Temple Run fiction series and an activity book was published by Egmont Publishing. The series is called Run For Your Life, with the first four titles called Jungle Trek, Doom Lagoon, Arctic Rescue and Pyramid Peril. The series is a "choose-your-own-ending" series aimed at fans of the game and books like Beast Quest. The activity book, Temple Run Downloaded is shaped like a tablet and includes Temple Run info, character profiles, mazes and brain teasers.[40][41]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84%[42]
Metacritic 80/100[43]
Review scores
Publication Score
IGN 7.5/10[44]
148Apps 3/5 stars[45]
AppSpy 4/5[46]
Gamezebo 5/5 stars[47]
Slide to Play 4/4[48]
TouchArcade 4.5/5 stars[49]
Publication Award
Shorty Awards Nominated

Temple Run has been generally well received. The iOS version holds an aggregate score of 80 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 10 reviews,[43] and 84% on GameRankings, based on 7 reviews.[42]

Phillip Levin of 148Apps rated it 3 out of 5, praising the gameplay but criticizing the backgrounds; "my big qualm with Temple Run lies in the fact that the majority of the game's scenery looks the same. Yeah, the scenery does change here and there, but most of the time, gamers are running through ruined, temple pathways that look consistently the same. It all starts to blur together after a while."[45] AppSpy's Andrew Nesvadba was more impressed, scoring it 4 out of 5, and writing "Temple Run tightens up and polishes the endless-runner for the 3rd dimension, giving players a unique and fun challenge that controls like a dream."[46] TouchArcade's Nissa Campbell scored the game 4.5 out of 5, praising its move away from the "one button jumping control system" of most endless runners, as well as the game's milieu; "Any endless runner worth the name will give you high-tension situations and that "one more time" compulsion. But Temple Run is probably the only one that also makes you feel like a daring archaeologist with a penchant for deadly situations."[49]

Gamezebo's Art Green scored it even higher, 5 out of 5, calling it "an instant iPhone classic," and writing "addictive doesn't even accurately describe the game. Enthralling gameplay as game speeds up. Objectives add goals that keep you playing."[47] Slide to Play's Andrew Webster also gave the game a perfect score, 4 out of 4. He praised the upgrade system, 3D graphics and controls, concluding "Even if you think you're sick of automatic runners, Temple Run proves there's still much life left in the genre. It matches the sheer thrill and intensity of Canabalt, but with a completely new theme and perspective. We've all wanted to be Indiana Jones at some point, and now's your chance."[48]

IGN's Justin Davis scored it 7.5 out of 10, praising the game's depth and upgrade system, which he felt distinguished it from other endless runners, such as Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack. He concluded that "Temple Run is a fast and frenzied iPhone experience. The combination of swiping and tilt controls gives each session a frantic feeling [...] Gamers craving a new iOS time waster should give Temple Run a long look."[44]

PC Magazine's Laarni Almendrala Ragaza called the initial Android version "crisp", with "snappy" navigation.[50] They also included it in their "Mobile Apps to keep Kids Happy" list.[51]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Imangi Studios - About". Imangi Studios. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  2. ^ nsxdavid (March 26, 2012). "Temple Run for Android SHIPS!". Unity Community. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Temple Run (iOS)". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Temple Run (Android)". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Angela Moscaritolo (March 27, 2013). "Temple Run Launches on Windows Phone 8". PC Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Mike Musgrove (March 22, 2009). "They're Apps to Make Money". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "Imangi Studios". Imangi Studios. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Temple Run 2 (iOS)". Slide to Play. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Emily Price (January 24, 2013). "Temple Run 2 Arrives For Android". Mashable. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "Temple Run: Classic". App Store. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Joshua Topolsky (June 4, 2014). "'Temple Run' has been downloaded over 1 billion times, and most players are women". The Verge. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Peter Chubb (February 21, 2012). "Temple Run To Smash Records". InEntertainment. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  13. ^ Brian X. Chen (March 1, 2012). "How Temple Run Became More Popular Than Zynga Games". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  14. ^ Sinan Küstür (June 16, 2012). "Pyramid Run review". Great Apps Review. Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  15. ^ Nicole Loiseau (December 3, 2011). "Temple Run becomes popular throughout the app world". MSD Eagle's Landing. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  16. ^ Josh Constine (January 15, 2012). "Mobile Game Design: How Evil Monkeys Chased Temple Run To App Store #1". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  17. ^ Chris Kohler (March 28, 2012). "Temple Run and the Rise of the Free, Profitable Videogame". Wired. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "Timeline Photos". Facebook. January 13, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  19. ^ Anndrew Vacca (March 6, 2012). "Temple Run for Android to be released on March 27". Android Central. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  20. ^ Michael Crider (March 30, 2012). "Temple Run for Android Gets A Whopping 1 Million Downloads In Three Days". Android Community. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  21. ^ Tim-o-tato (March 30, 2012). "Temple Run for Android Updated, Fixes Crash Issues and Adds Support for the DROID RAZR and Bionic". Droid Life. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  22. ^ Eric McBride (March 30, 2012). "Temple Run For Android Reportedly Making Devices Overheat?". Android Pit. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  23. ^ Sara Yin. "Temple Run (for Android)". PC Magazine. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Temple Run Brave (iOS)". Slide to Play. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  25. ^ a b KS Sandhya Iyer (June 8, 2012). "Temple Run: Brave coming to iOS, Android on June 14". NDTV Gadgets. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  26. ^ a b Daniel Rubino (June 8, 2013). "Temple Run: Brave arrives on Windows 8 and RT after a seemingly endless run". Windows Phone Central. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  27. ^ a b Paul Acevedo (May 10, 2013). "Temple Run: Brave for Windows Phone 8 now available". Windows Phone Central. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  28. ^ a b Bla1ze (April 3, 2014). "Temple Run: Brave lands on BlackBerry World for BlackBerry 10". CrackBerry. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  29. ^ Alex Rubens (June 25, 2012). "Temple Run: Brave Review". MacLife. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  30. ^ "Temple Run: Brave – Follow Merida's Adventure through the Highlands of Scotland". The Bestsellers Reviews. May 26, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  31. ^ Sean Capdeville. "Review - Temple Run: Brave". Screwattack. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  32. ^ Jim Squires (June 14, 2012). "Temple Run: Brave Review". Gamezebo. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  33. ^ Chris Reed (June 14, 2012). "Temple Run: Brave Review". Slidetoplay. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  34. ^ Nelson, Randy (February 4, 2013). "Temple Run: Oz the Great and Powerful (apparently) landing this month on iOS". TÚAW. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  35. ^ Stroh, Michael (August 28, 2013). "Now in the Store: Temple Run Oz for Windows Phone 8". Windows Phone Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  36. ^ Cowley, Ric (March 20, 2017). "Scopely snags Temple Run license for soft-launched match-3 title Treasure Hunters". PocketGamer. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  37. ^ "Temple Run: Treasure Hunters Official Website". Temple Run: Treasure Hunters. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  38. ^ "Google Play Store listing for Temple Run: Treasure Hunters". Google Play Store. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  39. ^ Tatiana Siegel; Borys Kit (November 12, 2013). "Warner Bros., David Heyman to Bring Video Game 'Temple Run' to Big Screen". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  40. ^ "Egmont Runs Away with Rights to Temple Run Fiction Series and Activity Books". Egmont Publishing. June 24, 2014. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  41. ^ "App adventure Temple Run helps draw readers". School Zone. November 24, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  42. ^ a b "Temple Run for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  43. ^ a b "Temple Run for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  44. ^ a b Justin Davis (August 17, 2011). "Temple Run Review". IGN. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  45. ^ a b Phillip Levin (August 8, 2011). "Temple Run Review". 148Apps. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  46. ^ a b Andrew Nesvadba (August 15, 2011). "Temple Run Review". AppSpy. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  47. ^ a b Art Green (January 11, 2012). "Temple Run is an instant iPhone classic". Gamezebo. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  48. ^ a b Andrew Webster (August 13, 2011). "Temple Run Review". Slide to Play. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  49. ^ a b Campbell, Nissa (August 3, 2011). "'Temple Run' Review – Indiana Jones and the Endless Runner". TouchArcade. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  50. ^ Sara Yin. "Temple Run (for Android) review". PC Magazine. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  51. ^ Laarni Almendrala Ragaza (May 25, 2012). "Mobile Apps to keep Kids Occupied and Happy". PC Magazine. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
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