A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure is a Match-3 game tied to the Temple Run franchise, but there aren't any messages in the game -- overt, subtle, or otherwise. It's a straightforward puzzle game with a very loose story in between puzzles.
Positive Role Models
This is a puzzle game without any real protagonist or story, though you do play as a female adventurer and archeologist, Scarlett Fox, who runs from one part of the map to another, in order to complete the puzzles. There isn't anything known about the heroine (nor the male adventure, who joins you on this adventure), as there's very little dialog and no character progression.
You play as a white, young female character who completes puzzles. You don't interact with any other characters, other than a male archeologist who joins you about an hour into the game, or so. You cannot change what your character looks like.
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Ease of Play
Like most other Match-3 puzzle games, you'll swipe tiles left, right, up or down, in order to clear the board. It's easy to learn the mechanics of this puzzle game, even if you haven't played a Match-3 game before.
Products & Purchases
The game is based on the Temple Run mobile action game series, but there's no cross-promotion. Because it's an Apple Arcade game, there are no in-game advertisements allowed, and no option to spend real money on in-game content, either.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure is a Match-3 game for Apple Arcade. It's inspired by the Temple Run apps, although it has no cross-promotion of those titles. This is a straightforward Match-3 game without any inappropriate content, and is relatively easy to pick up and play for puzzle veterans and newcomers alike.
Is It Any Good?
If you've played several of these Match-3 games over the years, this is merely an average puzzler in this space. Sure, if you're already an Apple Arcade subscriber and enjoy these kinds of games, Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure is worth checking out as you have nothing to lose but time. You may like the connection to Temple Run if you've got a nostalgic leaning towards that decade-old brand. But there really isn't anything new here. It's the same mechanic -- right down to the different variations of the missions, the power-ups (bombs, rockets), the 3-star system per board (good, better, best performance), and visual style of the entire game (two family members thought it was Candy Crush at first glance).
Sure, the "adventure" element is played up a bit, and true to its heritage you are rewarded with "speed" if you complete levels expeditiously, but that's about it. While not a bad game, it's just a little disappointing. Perhaps if there was something different added into the mix, it would rise above mediocrity. For example, what if there was a different (perhaps 3-D) perspective of the board instead of the flat, 3-D wall of items? Or what if there was a multiplayer component, where you and an online friend could adventure together? Or maybe the storyline with Scarlett Fox could be interactive in between levels, such as a "choose your own adventure" approach, with environmental puzzles to solve, too? Maybe there could be minigames that break up the redundancy? You get the idea. There doesn't seem to be much thought here into what makes it stand out from the rest. That said, there are collectible items and Achievements (like "Collect 5000 Orange Gems"), but nothing really happens when you do. Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure is a good but not great Match-3 game. Parents may like there's no in-game purchases, plus there's no ads to sit through as an Apple Arcade title, but don't expect anything original here.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.