It seems to be becoming very popular to heavily borrow ideas in the mobile game space. Gamevil borrowed heavily from Battleheart with Epic Raiders. Zeptolab borrowed from Angry Birds with Cut the Rope. Gameloft borrowed heavily from everyone with everything they do . This is how progress is made. Innovation is reused, good ideas are borrowed, and the gaming takes steps forward in the grand evolution of the industry. Aby Escape, the most recent Android release from BulkyPix (Pix n' Love Rush, Burn it All) is a game that borrows heavily from Temple Run and attempts to add some new flavoring to the existing recipe.
Like Temple Run, Aby Escape is a frantic running obstacle game. Your character, Aby is desperately trying to outrun chasers while jumping, dodging, and ducking beneath a wide array of level obstacles. When running Aby slowly looses energy and requires filling through shoe powerups that are scattered throughout the level. Like Temple Run there are also coins littering each stage which can be used to purchase power ups, new stages, and even unlock the story mode. At the start of the game only the unlimited mode is unlocked, and the player will need to either do a whole lot of running (to the tune of 4000 coins) or will need to buy a few coins in order to unlock the story mode. Story mode, in contrast to the unlimited mode, is a number of static levels. The goal of story mode is to simply cross the finish line with the highest score possible which earns the player a star rank. Each time you die you restart at the most recent checkpoint crossed with a reduced score. Story mode, in addition to a solid step up in terms of graphics, sets Aby Escape a step ahead of Temple Run, through sticking to the same original recipe.
The artistic direction of Aby Escape stands ahead of Temple Run. It's also a wholly different direction, likened more towards a fun cartoony feel as opposed to the more serious action feel that Temple Run has. This additional graphic demand isn't without it's cost though. At least on my device (Droid X2) I experienced a few intermittent slow downs and musical skips during my time playing Aby Escape as well as a little extra heat coming from my device. This rarely affected the gameplay, and very well could be device specific, but the game does seem more demanding than it's older sibling. Overall the enhancements over Temple Run are worth the couple hiccups.
The one legitimate downside with Aby Escape is the lack of new additions to the Temple Run formula. There are about three maps for the unlimited mode and three sets of levels in the story mode, which is enough content to keep you busy for awhile. The problem is that the gameplay is so similar to Temple Run I was left with a feeling of "been there done that" pretty quickly. The additional mechanics provide for a little extra entertainment, but there isn't enough different to keep players engaged in the game. The experience is fun, but for anyone that's played Temple Run and collected the majority of the goods there, Aby Escape may feel a little stale almost immediately.
At the end of the day Aby Escape is a solid game. If you haven't played Temple Run, then I'd recommend this game over it. The graphics are better, the store items are engaging, and the story mode is extra fun. However if you have played Temple Run, then still give Aby Escape a try, but know you won't find anything revolutionary. Aby Escape is the funner kid sister of Temple Run that contains all the same greatness, plus a few new twists.