It’s been a long time. We released the first issue
you are, let me introduce it to you. TGM is a
of TGM in November of 2010, with a second
magazine about our love of playing games on
issue hitting the App Store a little under two
tablets. It has reviews, in depth articles,
months later. Since then we have tried various
interviews and more. With the amount of games
times to release a third issue, but it has taken us
coming out for iOS, Android and Windows 8
until now to finally bring Touch Gaming
tablets, it’s impossible to feature every game
Magazine back. There are a few changes, as the
coming out, but in every issue we release, you
magazine is no longer available in the App Store,
will find the most exceptional games that came
but can be downloaded directly from our
out recently or simply the games we enjoyed the
website. Besides that, it’s not just about iOS
most. Plus we take a look at the biggest titles in
gaming anymore, as anybody with a tablet can
our zero issue (or should that be our two and a
now read reviews of games on their favorite
half issue?). Anyway, welcome to the mag, or if
you did read one of our earlier issues: welcome
If you are new to TGM, and chances are that
There arenâ€™t that many genres better suited for playing on a tablet or smartphone than 3D runners. The easy gameplay mechanics and quick nature of the average gaming session make it perfectly pick up and play.
Left: Temple Run Oz, another successful and fun addition to the Temple Run series of games. Right: Sonic Dash, fun, but flawed, with some new additions to the genre that don't work as well as they should.
It all started with a game that could have been perfectly suited as an Indiana Jones tie in: Temple Run. In the game, you star as an intrepid explorer who got his hands on something so valuable, that the worlds most hideous creature came after him to get it back. In Temple Run, and the many clones released over the years, you see the action from behind. Your hero runs up the screen, where many obstacles await him or her. You have to jump over trees, duck under archways, run left, run right and take care of picking up enough power-ups and coins to make it possible for you to add points to your highest scores. The appeal of these games is easy to see. The gameplay is exciting, with your reflexes being tested constantly, and with a sense of dread edging you on. You donâ€™t want your hero to get caught by whatever is chasing him, so you do the best you can to keep him alive and running. The original Temple Run wasnâ€™t a runaway success. It sold well, but things only got crazy when developer Imangi decided to give the
3d runners game away for free, with a huge dollop of IAP taking care of the necessary income. All of a sudden, everybody wanted to play Temple Run and see what all the positive reviews had been about. They found a very well presented and designed game that was insanely addictive and kept screaming: “Come on! Just one more go to see if we can beat the high score!” Imangi had a runaway (pun intended) hit on it’s hands and, as these things go in the mobile world whenever something is a succes, other developers sat up and took notice. Slowly but surely the clones started trickling into the different mobile game stores. Imangi wasn’t afraid to release a few clones itself, three up until now, and at times it seems like every developer worth their weight has created one of these 3D runners.
the original temple run
The thing about this genre is that it’s hard to mess up. The mechanics are so simple and addictive, that you have to really be a hack developer to mess them up. Just slap on an interesting story, some cool characters and a host of IAP options and you’re good to go. This is a good thing for gamers, but also makes it hard for you to see which of the many 3D-runners is most worth your time. Let’s have a look at some of the best options, starting off with Imangi’s turnout. When Temple Run became a hit, Disney sat up and took notice. They realized that a game like this would be a perfect fit for their animated movie Brave, and instead of making their own clone, they just hired Imangi to do it for them. The original Temple Run engine was tweaked a little here and there, an archery element was added, and instead of some gruelling monster, you were being chased by an angry bear. Surprise: the game was a hit, and Disney wondered if they wouldn’t be able to do it again, this time with another smash hit movie, Oz The Great and Powerful. The graphical style for the new game, Temple Run Oz, was a bit darker and weirder than the
Left: You want to play Agent Dash as the sexy girl in the cat outfit? Sure... Right: ...Just head on over to the shop to buy some jewels first. Or play for a long time to earn them. What will you choose?
Brave game, and it fit the mood of both game and movie perfectly. Besides this, Imangi added a hot air balloon you could ride in certain sections of the game, for the neccessary variety. Imangi had already done this in their own sequel to Temple Run, Temple Run 2, which was released a few months before Temple Run Oz. In Temple Run 2, there are minecart sections, which is a cool touch to spice up the game a little. besides that, the graphical engine of the game had gotten a pretty big update. Temple Run 2 was another smash hit for Imangi, though there was a lot of criticism about the fact that you could keep buying continues for the game, which meant you could essentially buy your high score, making this less a game for people with lots of skill, but more for people with lots of money. Temple Run 2 isn’t the only 3D runner with this mechanic, it’s just a shame that it’s possible to buy your way up the high score list like this, watering down the rankings quite a bit.
Disney isn’t the only big company jumping on the bandwagon. Sega recently released a 3D runner game based on their mascot Sonic the Hedgehog. To be honest, Sonic is a perfect fit for this type of game. His games have always been all about speed and good reflexes, and the Sonic Adventure games already had many sections that looked and played just like a 3D runner. It’s a good idea, and a good game, though it needs a few updates before it’s as good as some of the better games in this genre. A game that does show how to do things right is Agent Run, an older game from Full Fat, a company quite adept at taking an existing genre and making it their own. It’s basically Temple Run in a superhero setting. Your agent runs through levels that feature all the James Bond cliches. Dark jungles and top secret hideouts, and it’s fun to be able to unlock some of the other available characters. Full Fat does a good job at updating their game, having just released another big update for their game, to keep it relevant. Updates The fact that you can keep your game much loved through updates, without having to release sequels or spin offs, is best demonstrated by the game Subway Surfers. In this game you are a graffiti artist who gets caught bombing a train, and who must make a run for it before the police catch him. The creators release regular update for their game, which completely change the scenery that your character runs through. Recent updates saw action move to Brazil and Rome respectively, and it’s no surprise that the tens of millions of fans of this game keep playing it fanatically. It’s essentially the perfect 3D runner in our opinion, better than the Temple Runs or any one of the better clones of the game. We can't stop playing it.
With the amount of endless runners coming out these days, both in 2 dimensions and in 3, it’s easy to get bored with them. There are only so many variations of the tried and tested ‘keep running and don’t die’ formula designers can come up with, right? Well, wrong, as luckily cool new endless runners with fresh new ideas get released regularly, even though sometimes it seems like different designers come up with the same idea, like in the case of Mini Ninjas and Ronin.
Endless runners have evolved since the days of Canabalt, which had you only running from left to right and making sure
it's a fight! you didnâ€™t fall to your death. Jetpack Joyride really changed things up with all the different weapons and powerups you could collect, as well as with the mission system with all the different weapons and powerups you could collect, as well as with the mission system that every runner nowadays has adapted, almost completely unchanged from the way Halfbrick implemented it in their classic game. We can moan about this, or we can wade through all the tired clones to try and find the games that stand out, like these two martial arts variations on the genre.
Mini Ninjas takes a huge Xbox 360 game and turns it into a fun, gorgeous running game with a lot of background on characters and locations. It's atmospheric and plays really well. More please!
Fight! Mini Ninjas is based on a franchise that has been making a name for itself on various systems. The original Mini Ninjas was a huge action adventure set in a sprawling world, with well developed characters and an unoriginal but deep and fun storyline. Weâ€™ve been anticipating a movie of the franchise to tablets for some time now, and to say we were a bit disappointed that it turns up in the shape of just another endless runner is an understatement. However, any disappointment we felt quickly faded when we started Mini Ninjas up. Presentation on this game is top notch, and within minutes we were hooked on the great gameplay. Yes, this is
Ronin sets out to create it's own universe, a gorgeous one at that, and succeeds at drawing players into their samurai world.
an endless runner, but, at the least, a very deluxe version of an endless runner. The game features a massive power-up system that you can tinker away with for ages, several different characters that your main character can change into during play, as well as the same style that made the original Mini Ninjas a joy to play. The running has also been spiced up, as you don’t just jump over obstacles, but you have different moves to kill the enemies you encounter. Heck, you can even make a wallrun when the obstacles on the ground get too perilous. There’s a nice variety in backdrops as well, as a magical dragon transports you from one environment to another after you’ve ran a significant amount of metres. It's a draw? The cool thing about this edition of ‘It’s a FIght’, however, is the fact that no matter how good Mini Ninjas is, all the qualities of the game are matched by Ronin. Yes, there is running, there is jumping, there is fighting and there are power-ups, and all this is aided by beautiful graphics and great presentation. While Mini Ninjas very much takes it stylistical cue from the console versions
it's a fight! of the game, Ronin gives you more of an animation vibe. The backdrops in the game are gorgeous, the characters well animated and the game has an original way of presenting you with new missions. After you have made a good, long run, you enter a house where town characters ask you to do something for them, like rescue other townspeople, or pick up the bottles of sake lost by the owner of the local bar. Itâ€™s not vital that you complete this missions, but they add something extra to the game, although it would have been nice if the missions had some more variety. Ninjas or samurai? Ronin also has power-ups, like the ability to change into a wolf. The wolf is cool, though itâ€™s a shame that all he does is run; you cannot use him to attack your enemies. There is no clear victor in this battle. Both games are very well made and play great. We could go for the underdog, as Ronin is made by independent outfit Bullwark, while Mini Ninjas is a Square Enix production, or we could go for the game that has the most character to it, Mini Ninjas, which has the bonus of featuring characters that have already made an appearance in two earlier games. And yes, Mini Ninjas is a bit more simple and easy to pick up, as you only really have two basic moves (jumping and fighting), while Ronin adds some more moves to your abilities. But in the end, it all really boils down to what you prefer: ninjas or samurai?
whatever contraption comes next. Yes, it’s a gameplay model we have seen before, many, many times, and sometimes executed very well, but Hello Games bring their own flair and ideas There’s a good chance nobody
to the genre, making something that is as
would have really minded, as the original Joe
original as any game nowadays can be. It’s not
Danger games were such vibrant, colorful slices
just the gorgeous, vibrant presentation that sets
of arcade fun at it’s purest, but for Hello Games
this apart from the competition, or the near
this wasn’t enough. They completely rearranged
perfect level design, it’s also the huge amount
the control scheme so that it would fit handheld
of things to do in the levels. It’s almost like
systems better, in essence creating a whole new
playing an old Nintendo 64 3D platformer by
game with a familiar look.
Rare, where you spent half your time collecting
Joe Danger is a stuntman extraordinaire, crowds
useless stuff, not because it was really
flocking to whatever place next he is going to
necessary, but just because it was so much fun.
get on his motorcycle to do his hair raising
As in those games, it never gets boring here
stunts. Loopings? Easy. Jumping over a tank full
and just makes you want more. It helps that
of sharks? Pah! Been there, done that! For Joe,
Joe is such an appealing character, whom we
nothing is too dangerous. Joe just gets on his
hope to see a lot more of on tablets.
bike, rides from left to right and tricks out
There used to be a videogaming rule that any
Sega’s Spellwood scores big points already on
game with a monkey in it was almost
the various elements it has successfully
guaranteed to be great. Well, we’ve seen some
combined. There’s an element of
pretty bad monkey starring games on the iPad,
Scrabble/Word Feud, there’s cute Harry Potter
but Nitro Chimp almost makes us believe the
style animals battling it out and there’s the
old rule is true again. Nitro Chimp is an endless
possibility to level up your character and use
runner, but with some cool touches to it that
power-ups. You play a young critter who wants
make it stand out from the crowd. In this
to make it big as a wizard, and in this game
game, shown in more or less 2 and a half D,
magic battles are being fought by making
you control a chimp who likes nothing more
words out of the available letters. You can use
than tearing through the countryside on one of
power ups to defeat the many spell wizards
his many motorcycles. Obstacles abound,
you encounter. If we were a cynical bunch, we
however, including a gorilla intent on hindering
could say that this game is not born out of a
you or bumping you off your bike. The game
love for making games, but purely out of
plays well, has a lot of variety and shows
making a calculated combination of genres to
undeniable class. Besides, there is a lot to
score biggest sales-wise. We really could, but
unlock, even without having to resort to using
Spellwood is real fun, and shows that the
developers had a blast developing this. Looks like a big hit for Sega. 7/10
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The zero issue of Touch Gaming Magazine. TGM is returning after two years, better than ever. Now covering games for all mobile platforms, wi...