Temple Run Brave Hands-On Preview

When Pixar’s new film Brave hits theaters this month, you can expect to see a bit of family drama, expansive Scottish scenery, and a red-headed princess being chased by a demon bear. It’s clear which aspect of the film Disney Mobile chose to focus on for the official iOS companion game, Temple Run Brave.

Temple Run Brave is just like the original Temple Run, which has been downloaded more than 80 million times, but with a few slight changes. It uses the heroine of the movie, Merida, instead of a generic adventurer, and the movie’s giant bear Mordu as your attacker. Mordu is a great, evil-looking adversary, a Moby Dick-style force of nature with broken spears and arrows sticking out of his back. One look at him and you’ll feel the urge to run, too.

The game’s music and single environment are taken from the film, along with a bonus archery minigame. And importantly, Temple Run Brave will cost a dollar instead of being a free download. Since Temple Run Brave is a dollar, you’ll receive 2500 bonus coins, which would cost you a dollar in the original Temple Run.

With the price change, our expectations go up as well. To convincingly call Temple Run Brave a “premium” high-score running game, we were expecting to see more story or exploration, but the game is fairly limited in its scope. Like in Temple Run, your only goal is to stay alive as long as possible, swiping on the screen to navigate sharp turns, slide under low branches, or jump over gaps. One false move, and Merida either dives into the water or gets eaten by a bear.

As you run, you’ll be able to tap archery targets as they appear. This will grant you some bonus points, which like in Temple Run, you can use to unlock additional perks. However, we were hoping the combat would be a bit more in-depth, maybe along the lines of Katniss’s archery in the free Hunger Games licensed app.

Probably the best thing we can say about Temple Run Brave is that if you are hooked on the original (and 16 million people play it every day), the licensed characters will be more fun to zone out to. Otherwise, this re-skin doesn’t seem to add much value. The original Temple Run is a Must Have, but we’ll find out soon if paying an extra dollar diminishes our enjoyment, or if it’s a good deal for the branding alone. Temple Run Brave will be available in the App Store on June 14.