01
Oct
unnamed

Many of us waited with bated breath for Rayman Jungle Run to arrive in the Play Store late last month. Just when the wait was almost over, it was delayed. The game finally arrived a week later with all the platforming goodness you could ask for, so maybe the delay was worth it. All this precision jumping doesn't come free, though. Is the new Rayman worth a few dollars of your cash?

Gameplay

Rayman Jungle Run is split up into 40 regular stages, along with a few bonus levels. The first place of many that this game shows itself to be really well-made is with the level design. None of them are too terribly long, but it can be a genuine challenge to beat some of the later stages. The environments are elaborately styled, but it's still clear where you need to be going, what is a valid running surface, and when you need to jump.

2012-09-29 19.35.38 2012-09-29 19.41.36 2012-09-30 18.44.40

In each level, there are floating golden creatures called Lums, which you need to collect. Technically, all you have to do to advance to the next stage is to reach the end, but the Lums serve a few purposes. If you collect all 100 in a stage, you get one step closer to unlocking the super-hard bonus stages. The Lums are also very useful for showing you the "best" route to get through the level.

2012-09-28 13.41.41 2012-10-01 18.13.52 2012-09-28 13.41.48

For the most part, this is a one hit kills situation. If you fall into an abyss or run into a deadly spiked vine, it's back to the start with you. Luckily, the levels aren't very long so you aren't wasting a huge amount of time if you don't time things correctly. There are a few places where you can pick up a heart icon along with some Lums. This is basically an extra life that keeps you alive the next time you take a hit.

Controls

The way this title makes use of the touchscreen is excellent. You don't have to mess around with a thumbstick, and what button-pressing there is has been implemented extremely well. Rayman is going to be running at all times, so you don't have to worry about that. Each block of 10 levels introduces a new control mechanic, and the levels are designed to emphasize that. The first set is about jumping and how you can use that to launch off of walls. This is a straightforward action – you just tap the screen.

2012-09-28 18.20.16 2012-09-30 18.43.26 2012-09-30 18.46.18

Next Rayman Jungle Run introduces hovering. If you press and hold the screen while jumping, you will perform a little helicopter action and slowly descend. This can help you cover a little more ground before coming to rest, but if there is a strong updraft, you can actually float upward. In the next section the game adds wall running, which can be a little mind-bending at first because the orientation of the stage actually changes at times.

The last section adds the one more control mechanic, which is a melee attack. You're going to have to use this not only to clear obstacles, but to take out enemies. Again, this is all about timing, but this is the first time you have to keep track of buttons. On one side of the screen you have jump, and on the other is attack. With a game that is so fast at times, I'm not thrilled with this, but the hit boxes are very big and I had little trouble adjusting.

Graphics And Sound

Let's be clear up front; Rayman Jungle Run is beautiful. This is a simple 2D side-scrolling platformer, but the environments are lush and colorful. Everything is completely crisp with not the slightest hint of aliasing. The levels are also varied enough that I didn't get bored with the look and feel of this game. As you run along, there are foregrounds and backgrounds that shift as your perspective changes.

2012-10-01 18.16.54 2012-09-30 18.45.44 2012-09-30 18.42.08

2012-09-30 18.43.10 2012-10-01 18.14.58 2012-10-01 18.12.04

With a platfomer, timing is key so you can't have any lag or stuttering going on. I played Rayman Jungle Run on the Nexus 7, which is a powerful device. That certainly doesn't mean games can't lag on it, but this one played perfectly. Level load times were low, and the animations were smooth. If I have a complaint, it's that the sound isn't varied enough. The audio is very well made, but there isn't enough of it. Different areas of the game have different music, but there are still only a few songs.

Conclusion

This game feels incredibly smooth to play. You're just tapping away, but Rayman is doing these amazing things. I've been finding myself surprised from time to time that Rayman Jungle Run feels so cohesive – not like a series of well-timed taps at all. If you play it right, every level feels like a perfectly executed dance routine.

Rayman Jungle Run is attractive, fun, and has great level design. There are a few hours of gameplay here, and I think the quality of those hours justifies the $2.99 price tag.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Ugalde97

    I never had some much fun playing a game... this game is awesome!

  • Matt Bailey

    Really enjoying it so far. If you like this though I still think Wind-Up Knight is the class of the runner/platform genre, and maybe the best game I've played on any mobile platform.

    • RyanWhitwam

      I like Wind-Up Knight, but there is something about the control scheme that makes Rayman so fun to play. Wind-Up Knight feels tedious in later stages, but not Rayman.

    • Himmat Singh

      Both games are among my favorite on mobile. Rayman is shorter and easier, but more fun. WUK is longer, requires more precision and is punishing, and gives you more of a real challenge.

  • skeeterfood

    Why does the bottom of the article show $3.08 for the price, when the text says $2.99 (which is also what the Play Store says)?

    • Sinistar83

      Probably includes tax?

    • daveloft

      It's $2.99 in the US, if your in another country like Canada, it will be converted to Canadian dollars and come out to an odd price like $3.08. It's been like this on Google Play / Android Market since the beginning, how have you not noticed this before.

      • skeeterfood

        Probably, since I'm in the US is how...

        • skeeterfood

          Hmm, seems the $3.08 is actually the Appbrain price. But, it's $3.09 on the site, so it's still wrong...

    • James

      The game should actually be cheaper for Canadians seeing as their dollar is 2 cents above parity with the USD. It should be 2.93 CAD

  • http://www.facebook.com/thebadoneandy Andrew Aiello

    rayman's actual creator Michel Ancel (also creator of Beyond good and Evil) worked on this game and it shows. It is a brillant port of the rayman titles and is a bargin at 3 dollars.

  • nsnsmj

    It's fun, but it's not a real platformer. It's an infinite runner, with a little more gameplay. You don't even have much control over the character. Not taking anything away from the game, but a platformer it is not.

    • Himmat Singh

      Nah, I think it's a platformer. I think it's similar to Wind-Up Knight (which btw is also an auto-runner), just that WUK is a lot more punishing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aprawecki Alex Prawecki

    Why is this game incompatible with my S3 when I clearly see reviews from people using an S3?

  • Fangki

    Did you know that this game, along with Rayman: Origin, is hand painted?

  • Christopher

    I'm tired of "infinite runner" (is that what they're called?) games, this was a huge disappointment I thought it was going to be a proper platform game - the lack of proper d-pad control ruins it. I'm sorry but it _IS_ taking a LOT away from the game. I had been so excited and was looking forward to sharing it with my kids, but with only 15 minutes to get a refund I had to return it before my time ran out.

Quantcast