Tag Archives: powerups

Temple Run 2 – How I learned to forgive myself and embrace failure

A while back I wrote a blog piece about the highly (and I mean HIGHLY) successful game Temple Run. Of everything I have written on this site I receive more hits to that article than all the rest combined.  Here I was thinking people were interested in my unique point of view and clever witticisms when in reality all they want are hints, cheats, and tricks to higher scores.  I am duly humbled.

The makers of Temple Run recently issued a sequel to their game.  A new skin on an old skeleton, Temple Run 2 is not much more than a rehash/repeat of its predecessor, albeit with souped-up graphics and a couple of new options.  Don’t get me wrong, though. I love this game.  My addiction to the original having waned, I am flung into the welcoming arms of its descendent at the mere mention of a “Coin Magnet” super power.  Hip hip!

Temple Run Screen Grab

But as I race across a never-ending landscape of mountain paths, crumbling fortresses and diamond mines I take pause.  Why on earth would I spend any amount of time going over the same ground again and again?  I know how it’s going to end, my being impaled on spinning spikes or slamming into a mineshaft beam.  Where is the joy in that?

And yet, I can’t but make a comparison between the endless sprint of Guy Dangerous and my own pursuits.

We all like to think that everything we set our minds to will culminate in a joyous and highly celebrated success story.  Goal firmly in mind, we soldier through thick and thin only to be crowned victorious at the end and applauded by all for our tenacity, perseverance, and dedication.  Yeah, yeah!

Truth is, I find that there is a distinct failure-to-success ratio that shows up when I look back at my many undertakings in life (with the failures far outnumbering the successes).  Be they ever hopeful pursuits in work, art, and certainly love, most of these endeavors have wound up impaled on a proverbial spike, or falling off a cliff, or being swept away in a torrent of water, to use additional Temple Run 2 metaphor.

These failures seemingly make up the bulk of what I do, who I am, and what compels me nonetheless forward.  My life is a systematic accumulation of failures.

If this all sounds a bit dour, fear not.  This is where Temple Run 2 comes back into the argument.  As I mentioned earlier, there is no good outcome to playing this game.  The best you can hope for is running a little further or gathering a few more coins before dying horribly.  And knowing that, what is left is to enjoy the run, and become ever more adept at turning sharp corners or leaping up to grab a precious gem.  And indeed, for all my efforts I have come far.  Just check out my latest high score for proof.

Temple Run High Score

Picking myself up after failures in life has certainly not prevented me from experiencing more.  Any goal pursued with the much-needed gusto to succeed is the very recipe for a spectacular failure.  I find that, in fact, the more pigheaded I am about a goal, the greater the likelihood of it all going awry in the most damning way possible.  As such, one should celebrate ones existence as represented by the magnitude of ones failures.  The greater they are, the more gloriously one must be tackling life itself.  And if that’s not a worthy endeavor, I don’t know what is.

If once I cowered away from failure, now I embrace it.  Ok, that’s a total lie.  However, you have to admit that the sentence doesn’t sound as good when written as, “If once I cowered away from failure, now I mostly just squirm and berate myself for once again making the same mistakes, and when will I ever learn, but oh well what can you do, might as well get on with it, maybe next time will be different, yeah right.”

But I do keep running.

Temple Run – Temple Ruin

Karma Lee with Wings

(for Temple Run 2 click here)

Running.  It’s good for the heart.  It’s good for the soul.  Maybe not so good for the knees but that isn’t stopping anyone, certainly not here in LA.

I’ve taken up running recently and it is destroying my life.  But of course the type of running I’m talking about is most effectively done from the comfort of my sofa or bed.  I’m talking about the insidious, evil, soul-sucking phenomenon that is the addictive iPhone game “Temple Run”.

Can’t.  Stop.  Playing.

Surely there must be groups for this sort of thing (ahem, addiction).  Some support group where one can talk freely about cheats, meters run, coins gathered, and the frustration of how low it takes for resurrection wings to return after use.  And no, I don’t want some online, impersonal forum where we share high scores or compare tilting strategies.  I need honest to goodness face-to-face support.  I want someone who can look me in the eye and say, “It’s ok, you don’t have to use Zack Wonder if you don’t want to.  Guy Dangerous is a perfectly respectable character to keep using.”

But I do so love this game, with its Indiana Jones-esque premise, its promise of exciting power-ups around every bend (please let it be a Coin Magnet!) and the endless pursuit of a new high score.  Sigh.

This is highly embarrassing and not at all who I would like myself to be.  It’s even found its way into my dreams, fitful night terrors that involve me running along an endless seafaring barge (why a barge, I don’t know, but there you have it).  And I can’t stop running!

What’s even more upsetting, though, is that I have conspired to send another down this dark path of time-gobbling nerd-dom.  I have in no uncertain adolescent terms said to someone else, “Go on.  Try it.  Everyone else is doing it,” all the while knowing that I was encouraging this innocent to ruin his life as I have ruined mine.

Why, when confronted with a great evil, are we so quick to pass it along to others?  Why are we so incapable of shouldering the burden of a bad choice without demanding someone else participate?  Why must misery always, always seek out company?

So I am now quiet when he emails me hateful words.  I say nothing when he curses my existence.  And when angry texts appear on my phone at ungodly hours (why sleep when you can RUN?) I do nothing but accept his condemnation.  I am a bad, bad person, and I humbly bow my head in shame.  (It’s the best angle to keep playing.)

My best score yet!


Writing about a popular game inevitably brings with it a host of unexpected readers with one thing in common: “Cheats”.

I confess, as soon as I realized how much I liked this game I too searched the web-waves for tips, tricks, and helpful hints.  Alas, unless you are willing to jailbreak the game (call me a purist but I think this is a no-no) Temple Run has no hidden Easter eggs (save for the tutorial mode, two quick swipes to the right on the first bend, run forever without being able to post a high score yawn-fest).

This hunt for a shortcut to riches, high-score recognition, hint at immortality (or at least an endless supply of resurrection wings), compels us to go public with indiscretions that were once considered best left unmentioned.  Oh, the shame of admitting you were a cheat.  Horrors!  But of course those days have past.  In today’s “everyone is famous all of the time” “reality show as life” landscape, it is far more important to be recognized than to be worthy of that recognition.  Who cares how you got the high score as long as someone knows you did.  Right?

So if you must cheat, go ahead.  Google that “Temple Run Cheats” search item.  Or how about “Temple Run Hints”, “Endless Coins”, or “Unlimited Invincibility”?  Better yet, cut to the chase with a Temple Run hack and you too can join the ranks of several tens of thousand of other “unique” players with their 2,147,483,647 high score.

It sure does make you special.