Rayman Jungle Run Review

Platform: iOS/Android/Windows Phone/PC
Originally Reviewed: 2012

Now that’s a bit of a misleading title. Not the Rayman part – that’s fine. There’s a fair few jungles in there too. No, it’s the ‘run’ bit. You see, in Rayman Jungle Run you don’t actually control any running yourself. Maybe it should be ‘Rayman Jungle Tap’. Nah, I suppose that doesn’t have as much of a ring to it. ‘Rayman Jungle Auto-Run’? Sorry, I’ll get on with if it’s any good or not.

As previously and rather messily explained, Rayman Jungle Run is a scaled down version of the wonderful Rayman Origins we saw released around this time last year that is designed with your iOS device fully in mind. The aforementioned use of automatic running is to ease the problem of the difficult implementation of a decent control system for iOS platform games. It’s not quite perfect, but it certainly is one of the best platformers you can get on iOS.

Apart from actually being able to control where Rayman runs, the game retains everything else from the console and handheld Origins games. It’s still beautiful, it’s still extremely tense and fast paced, and it’s still, at times, hard as nails. Players simply tap the screen (there is a button in the bottom left corner, but a tap pretty much anywhere will work) to help Rayman manipulate obstacles and collect Lums (the little yellow buggers from the console games) as he legs it through various brilliantly designed levels.

The levels are split into four worlds you must undertake in order and each one adds a new trick to Rayman’s repertoire – much like Origins. First jumping, then flying, then wall running, and then punching until Rayman has pretty much all the abilities of the main game. Knowing when to tap and when to hold fire and just let the little guy run his course becomes a Zen-like art form and feels great when you’re in full flow.

As a basic platformer, aside from the Land of the Livid Dead levels, the game is not that much of a challenge at all. Getting from start to finish is mostly a doddle. The real challenge, and the aspect of the game that shows off the incredible level design the best, is collecting all 100 Lums in every level. Placed in those purposely tricky to reach areas, getting all of them and combining it with a flawless run can be nerve wracking and tough at the easiest of times. There are no waypoints and barely any collectible hearts to give you an extra hit you can take. Each level has to be done in one, with all Lums collected in one go.

It’s at this point that playing such a tough platformer on an iPhone or iPad becomes a problem. Game rage isn’t the phrase. Try thinking of a grown man bawling and howling at his iPhone while resisting the urge to hurl it across the room and you’re about there. Be careful when playing this game. Your beautiful phone is at the risk of one hell of a battering. Play it cool, hotshot.

The game can become incredibly frustrating. Missing that one Lum on a level or getting right to the end and dying will make you feel horrible, but this is rarely the fault of the game. As we always say on AWIY, platform games are allowed to frustrate so long as it’s the player’s fault. Maybe I just suck at the game, but I did find myself quickly blaming the fact that I couldn’t control the direction Rayman was going when I missed a few Lums or fell off a few ledges. To be fair though, making you able to simply stop and turn back would take out most of the challenge, so it’s a bugbear you can deal with.

The toughness of the levels is offset against some truly stupendous design. All the charm and excitement from Origins is still here. You’ll be running up walls, dodging fire, punching guys in the face – it’s all present and correct. Performing a flawless run on a level can look like a thing of beauty. The developers know the automatic running takes some of your control away, so they make sure the obstacle course you’re taken through is as exciting and jam-packed as possible. And they did a hell of a job.

It can be annoying when you first undertake a level as some of the Lums, and even the correct route to go, isn’t always obvious. This means that not only will you be restarting levels a lot, but the game can sometimes degenerate into a ‘remember the exact layout of a level or you fail’ game. Let’s be honest, nobody enjoys the extreme tracks on Trials HD, do they? Sometimes Rayman Jungle Run can stop being fun very quickly. But nailing a flawless run on your first attempt at the level? Majestic.

Rayman Jungle Run is a brilliant iOS platformer. It doesn’t quite match up to the quality (or the length) of the recent console title, but as a solution to the control dilemma on iOS systems it’s a real treat. You may well get frustrated with just tapping, and you will definitely get frustrated with the extreme difficulty, but it won’t take away from your enjoyment of a title with enough charm, beauty and brilliant design to make a purchase worthwhile. Here’s hoping for an update with some more levels soon because I sure as hell want more of this. I just need a lie down first.

Alex Aldridge

GRAPHICS

Looks absolutely terrific. Easily as beautiful as the 360 and PS3 versions. The smaller screen probably helps too.

9/10

GAMEPLAY

It plays really well despite the limiting controls. Rayman loses very little in the transition, something that a full port may not have been able to boast. Can be really hard at times, but it’s still a blast – the exhilarating and tense obstacle courses see to that.


8/10

STORY

Absolutely nothing, but it’s not that kind of game.

0/10

REPLAYABILITY

The levels will put you through torture. Personally, I aimed to 100% each level as I went along and my heart can’t take doing them again. There’s nothing to unlock at the end and once you’ve done everything (which can be done in about 3-6 hours even if you struggle) you’re unlikely to go back. Good for a quick pick up and play, if you can keep your temper in check.

4/10

VALUE FOR MONEY AT

If you’re a right stingy bastard then you could probably wait for it to drop in price by a quid, but for £1.99 it’s one of the nicer priced big name games on iOS.

£1.99

OVERALL

Yeah, so you can’t run yourself and, yeah, it’s bloody hard, but Rayman Jungle Run is pretty much the perfect mobile companion to Origins. Gorgeous graphics, incredible level design and plenty of challenge means that there aren’t many better things to waste an afternoon on. Maybe put an extra case around your phone or tablet thought, just as a precaution.

8/10

GREAT

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s