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App rejected for similar icons

02-21-2013, 03:46 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 220
App rejected for similar icons

Using similar images of top apps within metadata as leverage to direct traffic to your app is not appropriate. Please modify your app icons.

They don't even say which top app is. Below is my answer:

First you owe me an official apologize since you didn't say which top app has the similar icon. Keep it in mind that I waited for quite a few days to get the app reviewed. Yet you saw it for minutes and reject it without a clear feedback!

Now I guess you mean the Temple Run. But I didn't mimic it, the icon is from a photograph of a stone wall. You say the wall is there to mimic an app's icon? How ridiculous! They are not similar at all. Maybe because they both have a yellow color? Or because they are both totems? I think both reasons are funny. How do you expect me an non-artist to modify it? Make it smile or give it a big red nose only to let it seems less similar? Or just change the color of it will do?

I think I've already keep enough space from the Temple Run icon. You'll find Temple Run: Brave and Zombie Run's icons are more similar, not to say they are even more similar in game play! Can I request you pull down those similar apps?

Finally, I think the difference is enough for two app icons. Or is it due to it's a top app, I need to keep more space form it? Is it bias or something?

I've write too much. You better give apologize first and then answer the questions one by one. I'll resubmit the app without change the icon (I can't!). Do give quick and non-casual feedbacks.
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In case you like both match-3 game & Fruit Ninja:
02-21-2013, 12:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,768
I instantly assumed they meant Temple Run, but I've seen other apps with the totem/inca theme and some "pirate coin" icons that look pretty similar too. Sounds like they're being unfairly protective of a top-selling game.

02-21-2013, 12:53 PM
I agree--doesn't make sense to reject that. Temple Run is probably the look you wan to avoid (since it's so well known), but really your design is NOT in the style of Temple Run, and Temple Run didn't invent yellow, or carved faces! And many other apps look even more like Temple Run. (But other games that really ARE in the Temple Run series, like Brave, can of course look the same and not be a problem. The same people made both games.)

But the reviewers are all people, so bad judgements get made. And there ARE a lot of apps trying to fool people with their icons, so the problem they're thinking of is real, even if it shouldn't apply to your case. They probably see a dozen icons trying to be "Temple Run-like" or "Angry Birds-like" on purpose every day! And I know when I'm app-hunting, those intentional copycat apps/icons drive me crazy, so I don't mind Apple cracking down on them!

But you've done nothing wrong here, Apple just made a bad decision.

For your own convenience, I would simply:

1. Shift the color a little (more gray-gold or tan than brilliant yellow, or maybe more orange-gold, or maybe make the ring a different color from the rest). Easy changes.

2. Resubmit in hopes of getting a different reviewer and a different decision.

3. Communicate strongly BUT with courtesy, because the person reading your message may not be the person who made the bad decision. You may not have any way you can "yell at" that person, but you CAN make a new ally with whoever deals with you next! Doesn't mean you have to give in easily: I find being firm and friendly works better than being firm and angry. Although... push me far enough one too many times, and I may try the "angry" method I do think it's good that you gave examples like you did (other than Brave). On the other hand, some apps may look like Temple Run so much that they should NOT have been approved, and that approval was itself a bad call (or an older policy/practice).

Good luck!

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
My first app: DotSpace (Forum thread)

Last edited by Adams Immersive; 02-21-2013 at 12:58 PM.
02-21-2013, 02:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,638
Originally Posted by bramblett05 View Post
It's my guess temple run they do share similar expressions
I agree. I thought of the same app instantly after seeing that icon. Think it's good apple want them to change the icon as its very similar to temple run. Even the dev seems to know that
02-21-2013, 02:04 PM
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,759
Throwing on the temple run icon just for comparison sake since I am sure everyone is curious.
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Last edited by Connector; 02-21-2013 at 02:37 PM.
02-21-2013, 02:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Area 51
Posts: 2,922
Originally Posted by Connector View Post
Throwing on the temple run icon must for comparison sake since I am sure everyone is curious.
I don't see the similarities ...
02-21-2013, 02:38 PM
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,759
Originally Posted by DannyTheElite View Post
I don't see the similarities ...
Yeah, I agree with you, the color and the smile are the same, but that's about it. And there was another game which actually did use an icon which was very very similar to temple run, but I forgot what it was, and they let that one through.
02-22-2013, 12:19 AM
Shiny vs. rough style, very different expression (different eyes, different mouth... just both being "unhappy"). Different cultural feel. Different shape (full-frame vs. in a circle).

I do think that's the source of the problem, but it was a bad call. Just being an ancient mask or face of some sort isn't enough. And gold? There are only so many metals!

Some others--all of which pre-date Temple Run (Aug '11):

Aztec Scroll, Jul '09

Aztec Puzzle, Oct '10

Last Temple, Jan '11

Curse of Inca, Mar '10

Treasures of Montezuma 2, Nov '09

Inca Reaction, Feb '11

Zuma's Revenge, Apr '11

Tiki Totems, Nov '09

Tiki Totems 2, Dec '10

Nobody's copying anyone there. It's natural coincidence that faces make good icons, and some games use ancient cultures as themes. Bound to happen, with thousands of apps out there.

And here are some that came after (and who knows what ones were rejected):

Adventure Run, Apr '12

Spartan Run, Nov '12

Idol Tower, Apr '12

Aztec Runner, July '12 (more the name, but still)

The Lost Inca Prophesy, Jan '12

Inca Mask

Temple Rush, Mar '12
(They even say "Not Temple Run" in the description, to steal search hits!)

(I'm certainly not saying all those later ones are copying Temple Run on purpose--some are, most are just coincidence.)

Hmmm... maybe Tiki Totems should complain to Apple!

EDIT: Actually, the OP's icon looks just like a yellow version of this icon:

Aztec The Curse in the Heart of the City of Gold, Sep '12

(I doubt it's popular with a name like that! But it's by a well known publisher--same ones that did Return to Mysterious Island and others.)

I don't think the OP copied it, though: different scale, no badge in the corner. I bet both icons simply came from the same stock art source.

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
My first app: DotSpace (Forum thread)

Last edited by Adams Immersive; 02-22-2013 at 12:35 AM.
02-22-2013, 01:06 AM
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,759
Wow, how did you do that, that is amazing. Tiki totems and temple were the ones I was thinking of. Wowzers.
02-22-2013, 01:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 5,154
Your icon is really similar to the Aztec Scroll icon, that would my guess.