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Riding high off of the smashing success of the Temple Run and the theatrical release of Disney/Pixar's Brave, Temple Run: Brave blends the properties for a sharp-looking take on the former's speedy running approach, and aims to attract new players with a family-friendly resin. The beautiful update doesn't come without some issues, though, as the $0.99 price tag raises the barrier to entry ever so slightly over the free-to-play original.
In this iteration, players must outrun Mordu – a demon bear filled with arrows – as heroine Merida by swiping left or right on the screen to navigate the jungles and swamps of Scotland, as well as swipe upwards to jump and down to slide through tight tunnels. Her archery skills are on display in a new feature for Temple Run: Brave, wherein the player must tap targets along the side of the run. Hitting all of the required targets rewards you with a coin bonus, and while a simple concept at first, it becomes much more challenging later on as you focus on archery and coin collection all while avoiding branches, water pits, and stumps.
Utilizing new HD textures in place of the original's jagged edges, Temple Run: Brave looks significantly better than its predecessor without putting much more strain on the hardware. However, it isn’t without flaw, as even with the more slender character, she still managed to get caught on random edges or jumps, resulting in an undeserved death at times. While unfair, a new game can be started so quickly that it didn't stop me from continuing play. Still, the addition of a price tag here – with optional in-app purchases still intact – is kind of a drag.
The bottom line. Temple Run: Brave may look like nothing more than a reskinned version of the original, but the inclusion of archery and upgraded graphics make it worth the upgrade.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later
Quick, accessible gameplay for short sittings. Updated graphics are beautiful and look great on the Retina display. Archery is a great addition to the gameplay
Still extremely easy for characters to get caught on random edges, resulting in a loss.