Game mechanics are defined as the fundamental elements that make up a game and its interactivity. For my analysis, I decided to explore the game mechanics behind one of my favorite games, Temple Run, which is a video game that works with the iOS and Android platforms.
In Temple Run, the player starts off by being chased by several demonic, ape like creatures. As the player, you have the ability to run, jump, slide, and interact with the world around you. The world of Temple Run at a first glance seems like an endless path similar to a maze that the player is trying to navigate and explore at an accelerated rate.
There are also many challenges and obstacles in Temple Run. In the game, you have to navigate your character through the temple left and right and avoid rocks, trees, dead ends, and fire traps while you try not to fall off the temple and into the water below. The main objective of Temple Run is try to collect as many gold, red, and blue coins as you can to reach the highest score, while you try to get away from the apes chasing after you.
While you play, the game also collects your statistics by keeping track of your highest scores obtained, objectives that you can unlock, and coins that you have found. The coins are then able to be used to purchase unlockables and upgrades in the game. I think that the mobile mechanics of Temple Run are a huge part of what make the game interactive. Players can also tilt the screen to collect coins and avoid obstacles, and can swipe their finger across the screen to go either right or left and continue down the path.
I think that another significant game mechanic is the ability to use power-ups to boost game performance and your character’s abilities. Once you obtain enough coins in the game, you can go to the store and buy fun power ups with the game coins. For example, you can gain invisibility, get a 250 meter boost power up that will let you run much faster, resurrect yourself immediately after death in the game, and unlock new characters and wallpapers.
When a player fulfills certain actions in Temple Run, game objectives are able to be unlocked. This linked article that I found goes into more specific detail about all of the objectives a player can unlock in Temple Run and what you have to do in order to unlock them. These objectives will increase your multiplier throughout the game and will impact your final score at the end.
Temple Run has had record breaking success and was downloaded from the app store over 20 million times. It has also gotten many positive reviews from game players and others. Players have commented about the quick pace of the game and said it was enjoyable. The game also challenges players with the objectives, coin collecting and obstacles, which players have said makes the game fun even though it mostly has the same scenery. One Temple Run review that I have found here was positive and describes a couple of the game mechanics.
So, I personally think that these mechanics do work and that they all make Temple Run an enjoyable game to play. Throughout the time I have been playing Temple Run, I feel like I have gained a greater knowledge of the key components that make up the whole game. I think that the trees, apes, fire traps, and broken edges all make the game fun, despite the scenery not changing a lot of the time. I think these all keep players busy and keep them from getting bored during the game.
In class, we talked about how game mechanics are important in making the gameplay interactive and fun. We also talked about how game mechanics are like patterns, and make up puzzles that the players have to solve. I personally think that if a game does not have any actions or choices we can make, then it becomes boring very fast. Games have to offer opportunities for the player to learn and cannot be too easy or pointless. I would argue that games have to include some sort of challenge.
The video below shows what Temple Run is like from a first glance. It is interactive and during gameplay, you have direct control over the character’s actions and are responsible for guiding him in the right direction. One of the components that got me interested in Temple Run is that there is no easy way to win the game and you have to keep trying.
Another topic that was brought up in class was gameplay progression. We discussed how well designed games have core mechanics that get progress as the game progresses. As the game progresses, it gets harder and the mechanics become more complex. The difficulty of the game progresses at a steady rate, as we keep playing and unlocking levels. Today, video games get more innovative when they introduce more advanced and interesting game mechanics that make up the challenges in gameplay.
To conclude, I feel that the mechanics in Temple Run do create a compelling and visually enjoyable experience as a player. I would argue that these methods are effective because the mechanics create the challenges, obstacles, patterns, and objectives in the game. For example, you have to keep trying to get the exciting power ups and they are not just given out. In my opinion, game mechanics are the basis of all of the successful video games on the market.
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