‘Temple Run 2’ Hits New Zealand App Store for Free, Releasing in US Tonight

We’ll have our normal weekly “Coming Tonight" post out for you later today, but this news is just too big to wait for. Hitting the New Zealand App Store just mere moments ago and set to filter its way across the world and into the US later tonight is the sequel to one of the App Store’s biggest success stories. Yes, Temple Run 2 [Free] has arrived. Not a spinoff, not a movie tie-in, and not yet another clone, this is a true and proper sequel from Imangi Studios developed with the help of Fuzzycube Software. Sweet!

I’ve been playing Temple Run 2 for the past day, and for the most part what wasn’t broke has not been fixed. Right from first boot up you’ll get a sense of deja vu as the camera sweeps in on the cursed idol that has been the cause of so much running over the past year and a half. You’re still being chased by freaky monkey creatures – well, just one giant creature, actually – and you’re still using a combination of swipes and tilts to jump or slide past obstacles and collect coins. This is totally Temple Run.

However, just because the key components remain the same doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of new stuff in Temple Run 2. Quite the opposite. The game takes place during the “golden hour" that’s just before sunset in a new temple floating high up in the sky. This sequel has received a big upgrade in terms of visuals and animation over its predecessor, and it makes a difference. It’s a beautiful game for sure.

The real improvement, though, is just how fluid and natural the environment feels. The original Temple Run was very rigid with mostly straightaways and 90-degree turns. Temple Run 2‘s environments are curvy and hilly, giving everything a more natural and “real" feel. There are cool new ziplines glide down, and eventually you’ll come across sections where you’ll be riding the rails in a mine cart. It’s pretty sweet. Check out this gallery of screens below (click to enlarge):

There are also four different playable characters, each with their own unique attribute as well as a host of upgradeable abilities. I’m sure there’s a bunch of cool stuff I have yet to discover, too. We’ll continue digging into Temple Run 2 and will have more on the game soon, but if you were among the millions and millions who enjoyed the original I think it’s a pretty safe bet you’re going to like the sequel. Look for it in international markets throughout the day and the US at 11pm EST, and check out our forums for more early impressions of the game.

New Zealand App Store Link: Temple Run 2, Free