One of the best iPhone games gets an Unreal Engine 5 makeover
This concept doesn't belong in a museum.
A concept video has been released of Temple Run, a popular iPhone game that debuted back in the early days of the App Store, remade in Unreal Engine 5.
If you haven't played the game before, it's an endless runner made by Imangi Studios, where you tap the screen for the character to jump while avoiding traps and enemies, alongside collecting power-ups to help rack up a high score.
Many games today run on an 'engine,' which allows developers to create worlds and characters with pre-made tools. Epic Games' Unreal Engine has been one of the most well-established engines for decades - Starting with Deus Ex in 2000 and to this day with the upcoming Tekken 8.
Unreal Engine 5, released in 2022, allows anyone to download a free version and develop a working game demo. This was how TeaserPlay made the Temple Run concept, and it features a lot of what modern games have - from ray-tracing, a graphical effect that can showcase lifelike reflections, to structures breaking away into a thousand pieces.
Apart from being lightyears beyond in graphics and framerate compared to the original Temple Run from 2011, it does make us wonder if we're close to seeing something similar like this in a future iOS release.
It's not the years, it's the mileage
Temple Run arguably began the endless-runner category on iOS. While a sequel arrived in 2013, there's something about the original, still available to download, that made it a classic on iPhone.
Granted, there would be games in the years following Temple Run that would be inspired by it, such as Sonic Dash. However, with the App Store approaching its 15th anniversary, we're reaching the point with iPhone games where they're becoming nostalgic to a generation. Many gamers who grew up with these games want to see them remade with today's graphics, which is why we're seeing concept videos like the one above.
With ray-tracing being showcased by Snapdragon, a company responsible for many processors in smartphones and other devices, it might not be too long before we see the same graphical boost in iPhones.
This is why it would be great to see a remake of Temple Run arrive on iOS someday with ray-tracing and ProMotion, Apple's take on higher-framerate displays - unless Imangi Studios are already developing this behind the scenes.
Remaking Temple Run would also tap into the nostalgia of what the game brings. Apple likes to showcase game developers at WWDC and other keynotes to highlight the power of its best iPhone at the time of the event. So it could be an incredible showstopper to see this nostalgic game concept become a reality.
However, if a remake of Temple Run is never released, seeing the game remade for a modern engine is a sight to behold, and, if anything, it shows how far we've come that a mobile game from 2011 can look so good.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.