Once you hit the "play" button, all you can do is run. You have, after all, just stolen a golden idol from an ancient Aztec temple, and demonic black-caped gorillas chase you to recapture their treasure.

So with a hint of Grand Theft Auto guilt for those with an aversion to larceny, Temple Run invokes the adventurous spirit of Indiana Jones through Guy Dangerous, your very own khaki-outfitted explorer to lead you through the obstacles of this new, addicting iPhone game.

The beauty of this game is that you can play in one hand while sipping coffee with the other. But be advised, don't look up to stir in sugar, because any split-second lull in your play can cause you to fall off course.

The designers at Imangi Studios created the game to ensure that after the 3-2-1 starting count, the player faces a unique and always exciting challenge.

You're asked to master four simple finger-swiping moves: left, right, up and down. These swipes are used time and time again to turn sharp corners, traverse the tops of narrow walls and dodge flames and roots of ancient trees.

No course is exactly the same, no matter how many times you restart. There's a thrill in not knowing what's around the corner or how fast you'll have to react, and this makes the game so hard to put down.

Collecting coins throughout the game allows you to build a bank of gold to use for buying power-ups that boost your play.

Five hundred coins, for example, allows you to resurrect yourself, giving you a second life when you choose to use it.

The further you run without falling off a wall, knocking yourself into a tree or allowing the gorillas to catch you, the more valuable the coins become and the more opportunity you have to score helpful tools like an invisibility token or a coin magnet.

Other avatars available for sale in the game store—"football star" Zack Wonder, Karma Lee "with the fastest legs in the Far East" and Barry Bones, "a city cop with an attitude"—offer a break from Guy Dangerous but a brow-raising contrast between their modern and ethnic styles and the ancient aesthetics of their Atlantis-like atmosphere.

The best and worst part? No matter how long you manage to stay on the course, you never seem to win. The only real goal is to beat your own best score while building your coin bank to purchase more power-ups.

There are missions to complete, such as running at least 10,000 meters or collecting over 2,500 coins. But that said, the missions aren't endless, and as someone who has completed 30 out of 36, I have a bittersweet suspicion that finishing the missions means mastering the game and receiving my life back.

Similar to the missions, the game store is also not extensive, and as I have bought all of the available avatars, purchased all of the wallpapers, along with all power-ups, I am coming to a point where the exhilaration of the game is fading without new bonuses and surprises opening up as I get better.

Because your explorer speeds up the longer he/she stays alive, the game not only requires technique but stamina as you guide him away from danger.

The inherently fast-paced nature of the game instills in you a sense of urgency that can make you boil over when your fingers get tangled by the various swipes on the screen. Even the most adamant non-gamers might find that their hands get clammy, their hearts speed up, and they may even spill their coffee.