Temple Run 2 Collage

It started about a month ago, maybe longer. It’s hard to tell, really. First my brothers told me about it, then my friend Melissa. They said it was fun and exciting, that I’d really get into it. Hell, my mother was even doing it, and that’s saying something. I thought I’d try it once just to see what all the fuss was about, but once simply wasn’t enough. Ever since that day I’ve been tied to something that I am not strong enough to resist, pulled by a force I just can’t break away from. I didn’t even really want to start doing it. I could have never anticipated how much I’d like it. Now I do it anywhere from five to ten times a day. The sad part is, I’m getting really good at it, and that only makes me want to do it more.

Imagine sprinting through a maze of obstacles with a giant beast on your tail. You’re inches ahead of him and are running for your life. Just when you hear his ferocious growl behind you, you must slide under a fallen tree or jump over fire to avoid sudden death. You make several quick turns to avoid running off the course and diving to your death, and then you glide down a zip line to reach the next part of the path. You even encounter several caves where you must navigate broken rails and giant rocks in a speeding mine cart. Along the way you can pick up coins and powerups (like a boost or shield) to enhance your abilities. In all of that excitement, you still must not forget you’re being chased by a scary creature eight times your size. Sounds pretty intense, right?! Have you figured it out yet? Do you know what I’ve signed my soul away to?

Hello, my name is Paula, and I’m addicted to playing Temple Run 2.

Ok, ok, maybe I’m not really an addict; that’s a pretty serious term. But I am really into it. I’ve never been much of a gamer… We had a Nintendo 64 as kids and played The Legend of Zelda every once in a while, but I haven’t engaged much in the gaming world since growing out of my slap bracelets and gel pens phase. Thus, I have no earthly idea why, as an adult, I feel the need to play Temple Run 2 as much as I do. It’s ridiculous. I can’t really even explain why it’s so much fun. Here’s a little self-disclosure, though: I am really, really competitive. Not the in-your-face, bragging and boasting type, but the type that must secretly win at everything. It made me a really good athlete in high school, and it pushed me to be an outstanding student in college. But why, in the midst of grad school insanity, is my competitiveness manifesting itself through an app on my iPhone?! Fine, maybe I know why… I love beating my old score. There is something so gratifying about being able to start a new game and challenge myself to do better, even if it means looking like a fool holding my phone and my whole body leaning and jumping along with the game because I am so entranced in it. In a lot of ways, this guilty pleasure has become an outlet to release stress, forget about my obligations, and have small successes, just by pressing an app and leaving the world for five minutes… or thirty. Whatever.

It seems that I’m not the only one whose interests lie in endless running excursions through the temple… According to VentureBeat, Temple Run 2 hit 50 million downloads after having been on the market for just two weeks, surpassing Angry Birds Space for the fastest record of reaching that many downloads. The husband and wife team at Imangi Studios who created the game attribute its success to the fact that it is free and can be played in full without purchasing anything. Thus, there are no barriers or second-guessing; all you have to do is tap the download button and start playing. Give it a try. You know you’re at least a little curious at this point. If you want to check out some more information on the game before downloading, Uoobe has a great “Temple Run 2 Game Overview” you may be interested in, complete with an explanation of the objectives and various components of the game, as well as a comparison of the sequel to its original.

Now, I’d like to hear from you! Have you tried Temple Run? If so, what has your experience been like so far? If not, do you have a gaming guilty pleasure? Please, dear God, tell me I’m not the only one.