Rayman is a fair age for a gaming icon, mixing it with the best of them in the early days before being resurrected several times in several generations.
His most recent game, Rayman Origins, won plenty of praise for both gameplay and art style.
So it was exciting to see that the same art and graphics engine being shown off on iOS as Rayman Jungle Run appeared on the scene, but this isn't a straight port of the console game. Ubisoft have been careful to think about the strengths of the iPhone and iPad and, in doing so, have done away with the tradition controls and split the game up in to levels that require either jumping, flying, hitting or Wall Running.
The aim of each level is to collect all the Lums, 100 in each, in order to win a tooth for Death. Once Death has 5 teeth he will let you enter the the Land Of the Dead stages, areas that require even more skill and some seriously good reaction times to beat. Playing through one section will also open the next, whether you achieve the 100 Lum score or not. This is just as well, because some of the levels are fiendish things, particularly in the flying section where a single misjudged tap can see you starting a level over.
At first, nothing stands in your way, short of missing a Lum or two on your quest for a perfect score. But pretty soon the environment itself becomes your worst enemy, from steep drops into nothingness, causing Rayman to blow up faster than a frightened blowfish and die, flames of fire to burn you, spiky outcrops that aim to pop you and finally on to proper enemies, who stand right in front of you just waiting to be punched.
Even though the gameplay is a perfect mix of one-touch controls married to a genius level design which makes you forget that the game is primarily an auto-runner with little control over direction, it's the artwork that steals the show. Faithfully converting the same beautifully hand drawn art style of the Origin game, Rayman Jungle Run is a sight to behold on a Retina screen. On the iPhone it looks great, but stick this game on an iPad 3 and you're in for a treat.
The music is worth a mention too, Ubisoft have ported over those catchy little tunes from the console game that manage to get right into your head, but which also work so well to help create the atmosphere for the game.
While it's possible to whizz through the main levels in a day or two, those Land of the Dead sections up the ante and provide much needed longevity to the game, with a timer added to each level for score attacks. It would have been nice to also have the timer on the main levels too, allowing you to compete against others on Game Center for times, but perhaps that's one for a future update.
Rayman Jungle Run is a must have game, both for the simple but perfectly tuned gameplay and for the beautiful visuals.
- Sound: 9
- Graphics: 10
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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