I’m just going to come right out and say it. Rayman: Origins was hands-down the best 2D platformer from last year, beating even the side-scrolling Mario titles of recent memory. The art is breathtakingly vibrant, the world is unique and full of oddities, and the gameplay is fluid, creative and accessible. Now all of that has carried over into Rayman Jungle Run, an auto-runner based on the property. Many of us Rayman: Origins players can tell you that the running segments of that game, when you chase down treasure chests or free trapped fairies, were probably the most fun, so it makes perfect sense for this game to exist.
The game is split into four worlds with ten levels each, and each world introduces a new power. Rayman starts off jumping, but soon he’s gliding, wall-running, zip lining and punching, and the level design just builds and builds off of itself. Most actions are context sensitive, so the controls stay simple. Especially because the movement direction is pre-programmed for each section of each level. This game perfectly captures the essence of Origins, as you bounce and wall-jump around each level just right. Your goal is to collect every single “Lum” in a level. Lums unlock various art gallery images, and getting all Lums in a level unlocks one of the grim-reapers missing ruby teeth, which unlock even more bonuses.
As I said, the art is crisp and vibrant and some of the best around. The world is nice and varied too, with many different color palates. The eccentric soundtrack helps accentuate the strangeness of Rayman’s world, and fits perfectly. If you only get one runner this month, get this one. Game Center achievements and leaderboards are also supported for the more competitive out there, which is kind of funny, since the first game was all about competitive cooperation. Rayman Jungle Run is iOS Universal, and available for three dollars at the time of this review.