Despite the name, Rayman Jungle Run is not an endless runner in the style of Temple Run. Rather, it’s a true-to-form platformer in the style of Rayman Origins that impresses in every way.
The main objective of the game is simple; run through the environment and collect as many Lums as you can while trying to avoid dangerous obstacles or deadly falls. Level difficulty scales smoothly, with new challenges being introduced in each level to keep gameplay interesting. The real key to level mastery, however, is to collect all the Lums while running through the level. When all have been collected, you’ll begin to unlock a secret level at the end of the game. It’s simple and works beautifully to both challenge the player and give the game a strong sense of replayability.
Environments are beautifully rendered and dynamic, presented with the same whimsical look and feel of Rayman Origins. Probably the best part about Rayman Jungle Run, however, is its brilliant use of touch controls. Rather than relying on a clunky on-screen button system, the game is set up for one-fingered button presses, with controls being gradually introduced in new stages. Timing is key in Jungle Run. You’ll start by learning how to jump, with Rayman running along in an on-rails type of movement. After learning how to jump at the quick tap of a button, you’ll move on to flying stages, where Rayman’s helicopter-like ability comes in handy and allows you to fly to safety while holding the button down. After that, you’ll navigate running up walls and even taking out enemies, all with different uses of the same button. It’s seamless in execution and completely intuitive, finding its stride with satisfying gameplay.
One of its drawbacks, however, is its glaring lack of checkpoints. Toward the end, levels start to get long and difficult, requiring a certain amount of both precision and memory. After failing time and time again, I found it frustrating to not have any checkpoints to take me back to a reasonable start point, forcing me to start the entire stage over again.
The game is also a little expensive, looking to set you back an entire $2.99. However, it’s not bogged down with in-app purchases, and the game’s extensive content and quality makes it well worth the price.
Rayman Jungle Run is by far one of the smoothest and most intuitive platformers available on mobile devices. Its execution is so enjoyable and seamless that you’ll blaze through several levels without even realizing it, re-visiting levels in an effort to beat your last score. Collectibles are challenging and interesting, the world is beautifully designed and laid out, presentation is smooth and satisfying, and the game overall is a treat for hardcore and casual gamers alike, making Rayman Jungle Run an absolute must-buy for the mobile platform.