Rayman Jungle Run
Rayman Jungle Run is a far cry from the port of Rayman Origins we desperately wanted, but there's a lot to like about this new platformer from Ubisoft. Powered by the same UbiArt Framework engine from the aforementioned console adventure, the game has no shortage of visually stimulating 2D graphics featuring rich, vibrant worlds teeming with life and detail. Throw in one-touch controls and levels that cater to both the hardcore and casual crowd, and we have the makings of a hit.
With this in mind, Rayman plays like an endless runner, as the limbless hero charges through a plethora of different worlds, except the developers broke the game into stages, each of which take less than a minute to complete. Reaching the end, however, is but one objective. The second involves gathering all of the Lums (yellow bug-like creatures) in each board, 100 total, though the game tallies and records all amounts, so long as you beat a level. Why bother collecting Lums? To unlock artwork (wallpapers, really) featuring various characters from the Rayman universe, located in the Gallery.
On that note, Ubisoft kept things as simple as possible by separating Rayman's abilities into four distinct groups of stages, where you only have to worry about a specific action, be it Jump, Fly, Wall Run or Punch, performed by tapping the screen. It's your job, therefore, to keep Rayman out of harm's way by dodging spikes, twisty tentacles and bottomless pits.
What you'll soon discover is the irresistible urge to find the Lums at all costs, going back to replay older levels, especially when collecting them results in red gems that unlock new stages. Of course, nothing hurts worse than finding out you only located 99 Lums in a particular board, but on the positive side, the restart button is but a click away.
Meanwhile, Rayman Jungle Run remains beautiful throughout, with some of the best hand-drawn graphics we've seen on the iPhone and iPad, with bouncing mushrooms, weird eyeballs, the happy-go-lucky Lums and even spooky catacombs. On top of that, familiar and catchy tunes from Rayman Origins compliment the eye candy.
Unfortunately, there's little reason to replay these stages after attaining 100 percent completion, which ultimately left us wanting more. This desire came in the form of online leaderboards, tied to the game's Leaps of Faith stages, where there are no Lums, and players can focus on making speed runs. Much trial and error ensues.
Our guess? You'll enjoy every minute of Rayman Jungle Run, thanks to its tricky gameplay and high production values. It does a fine job complimenting the other games in the series, and should find a welcome home among the mobile and tablet crowd.
What's Hot: Retains the critically acclaimed Rayman Origins presentation, simple one-touch controls, levels broken into signature abilities, great for hardcore and casual players, leaderboards.
What's Not: Could use even more levels, little reason to replay beaten stages.