It was Fall Semester 2011. I was a college sophomore and started dating a pretty girl who shared my quirks. (Women like that are hard to come by, I won’t lie) Among said quirks was my propensity for playing video games. While all the babe-magnet jocks and hunks on campus were pumping iron, yours truly was in his dorm room doing things with his girlfriend. >:)
Yes, that’s right: My girlfriend and I played video games together! (What else did you think I meant?)
Her folks from out-of-state visited us one time and dropped off her Playstation 2, along with various platformer/RPG games (characters jumping from one platform to another in challenging environments). And, man, I gamed the hell out of that PS2 thing. Good Lord. Some of my favorites were Sly Cooper (ex-girlfriend had a thing for raccoons) and Jak and Daxter. I miss the days when platformers were the norm. Nowadays, platformers aren’t acceptable unless the main character is toting an AK-47 (*cough* Uncharted. More on that in a bit).
But nothing, and I mean nothing, could compare to the magic of one game in particular that wasn’t even on a home console. It was on our phones! We downloaded and binged on Temple Run by Imangi Studios!
Once you download the app and arrive at the intro screen, you get to control “Guy Dangerous” (apt name, I guess) right after he swipes a lost relic from an unnamed Temple. Naturally, in any fictious Temple setting, a horde of demon monkeys starts to chase you to devour your insides and retrieve their prized relic. Nothing too unusual about that, right?
With the demon monkeys in pursuit, Guy Dangerous must run, jump across gaps, turn sharp corners, and slide under narrow spaces. During his escape, he needs to collect coins in order for the player to buy power- ups and unlock certain characters (Scarlett Fox, Francisco Montoya, Zack Wonder, etc.). Even after unlocking all the characters, and upgrading your abilities to the fullest extent, you still feel the urge to set the highest score you can possibly attain.
In my opinion, the best games are the ones that have no end in sight. They have no finite story and runtime. The best games are the ones that keep you coming back for more, so you can one-up yourself and be better than you were yesterday. The best games are infinite. Games like Tetris, Centipede, and Space Invaders. (If any of you grew up in the 1970’s, give me a “f*ck yeah!”)
And of course, games like Temple Run. It’s a game that you can’t possibly win. You’re going to lose eventually. Either you’ll fall off into a ditch, slam into a tree, or get roasted by a fire. In spite of your best efforts, Guy Dangerous will never leave the Temple alive. And why should he? Prick’s a thief.
I take pleasure knowing there’s no shortage of arcade-style games in the 21st century. These are games that force you to go to the limits of your patience and focus as you attempt to set the highest score in the history of the arcade. Or, in this case, the history of the game itself. (Highest scores are recorded for public viewing, granting you bragging rights until someone dethrones you, that is)
Now, I’ll go on a mini-tangent here, if you’ll allow me.
Games like Temple Run and the ones from the Atari-2600 generation are rarely spoken of nowadays. Commercially-successful games (e.g. Uncharted) are more like interactive movies than actual games. Think of action movies: they have salacious women, corny one-liners, and seemingly invincible protagonists, correct? Well, Uncharted has all that, too. Because it’s not a game, it’s an interactive movie.
If you’re lucky to find a game like Temple Run on your phone, it’s going to be inundated with ads, just like your typical electronic article.
And…like this blog post, too? 😀 (Don’t chastise me, I need to pay the bills somehow)
Games are supposed to train your brain, not give you dopamine rushes. They should motivate you to sharpen your focus and be more alert. And more importantly, they should never get boring. (Once you experience a “game’s” entire story from start to finish, what’s the point in playing it anymore?) You should ALWAYS want to pick up and play a game if you need a quick stress reliever.
So go and pick up your phone RIGHT NOW and download Temple Run today! (This blog isn’t sponsored, I’m just a nice guy)
There’s a Part 2 to this Blog coming up! Be on the lookout, folks!
Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a Like and Follow my Blog through either WordPress or Email! Till next time, guys! 🙂