Developer: Disney Mobile
Price: $0.99 (Universal)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Yes, this is another Temple Run game, only weeks after Temple Run 2. So ready or not, here comes Temple Run: Oz. Conveniently released the week the movie Oz: The Great and Powerful comes out, this game has players controlling the man behind the curtain himself as he tries to outrun flying monkey baboons. I’d run too. Tilt to pick up coins and dodge hazards, jump and slide to stay alive, and swipe to turn. The game is primarily based on Temple Run 2, with gems for reviving and powerup enhancement, along with new powerups that can be deployed once enough coins are collected.

Beyond the addition of Oz elements, there’s the ability to change scenery by taking certain paths, players can fly in a balloon by taking the correct direction when the balloon appears. The balloon can be flown through the air by tilting horizontally, with coins and gems to collect with sky crystals to avoid. It’s more fun and less stressful than mine cart sequences from Temple Run 2. It’s got that Temple Run 2 base, with a couple of different tweaks.

It’s just that, while playing Temple Run: Oz, I never got the feeling like any of this was really necessary. Temple Run: Brave came months after the original’s launch, and at least had enough of a change of pace and tweaked mechanics to stand on its own after playing the original for a while. But in this case, Temple Run 2 had just only very recently released, and this game takes many of the mechanics that it added, and applies its own changes. The new music box key system doesn’t offer much in the way of great rewards, so there’s not much incentive to care about them.

The scenery is certainly interesting, as there’s the famous yellow brick road to run on. However, the flora on the sides can make it difficult to tell where a turning point is, and there seems to be an emphasis on sudden surprises that are difficult to dodge due to their suddenness. It all looks nice but it’s just too confusing. In fact, that describes everything in this game: it just all seems obfuscating, rather than edifying or even just entertaining. Even the Oz license just feels generic, lacking much distinction beyond the yellow brick road. It appears to have been developed outside of Imangi proper.

The only reason that this game exists is because it’s a movie tie-in, and it makes me wonder if Temple Run 2 was really delayed by a significant amount of time because this release is just too suspiciously close to make sense. I suppose for those who are already quite sick of Temple Run 2, this may represent a decent change of pace, but it’s still just too close to the original, both temporally and conceptually, to be worth a significant look.

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