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Rayman Jungle Run – Android

Rayman Jungle Run – Android

Rayman Jungle RunPlatform:  Android

Release Date (NA):  September 27, 2012

Developer:  Pastagames

Publisher:  Ubisoft

Genre:  Platformer

Nerd Rating:  9 out of 10

Mobile, smartphone, and tablet-based games get a bad rap (and deservedly so for the most part), but Rayman Jungle Run proves that there are companies interested in developing and releasing quality games exalted beyond the status of simple time-wasters.  Most mobile-platform gaming revolves around puzzle or puzzlesque tasks that while initially addictive, steadily increase in difficultly until the player loses interest.  Jungle Run, however, incorporates multiple mechanics into its gameplay and though the game naturally gets harder, it also requires the mastery of vastly different skills.  Other gaming outlets praised the title as well; IGN gave it an 8.8 and iTunes named the iOS version “Game of the Year” for the iPhone.

Rayman Jungle Run - AndroidAlthough a platformer at its core, Rayman Jungle Run operates under a unique premise: Rayman is constantly running (or otherwise moving) forward.  At first I was unsure of what would really be possible under such circumstances, but after a mere few minutes of playing it becomes obvious how much thought has been put into the title.  For those who’ve played Origins or Legendsthink back to the musical bonus levels where our hero is also in perpetual motion, and you’ll have a fairly accurate portrait of Jungle Run’s gameplay.  As one progresses, Rayman steadily gains abilities such as jumping, floating, punching/kicking, and wall-running.  Ostensibly the objective is to make it through the perils of each stage and reach the end; however, the real fun lies in cleverly utilizing Rayman’s abilities and the unique “always running forward” element to collecting each of the 100 lums scattered in each stage.  When 5 of the 9 stages in each world have been completed with 100 lums, a 10th stage becomes accessible.  These special “dead” areas are all about survival and exclude lums.

Rayman Jungle Run - AndroidBoth bold level design and the physics in the world of Rayman Jungle Run are handled with a rare alacrity that seems to be missing from today’s games in the pursuit of increased realism.  Time a jump correctly and Rayman will bounce in spectacular fashion exactly where he needs to be.  Fast-paced sequences of bouncing, running, wall-hopping, and jumping are what this game is all about.  Figuring out the precise timing needed for lum collecting is both a rewarding and enjoyable challenge.  Since Rayman never really stops moving, it’s not as if one can walk around and explore levels.  Instead, it takes a number of playthroughs (depending on the difficulty of the level) to plan out routes and possibilities while deducing simple yet unconventional means of making Rayman’s perpetual motion work for you rather than against you.

Rayman Jungle Run - Android

Players will spend the first couple of worlds acclimating themselves to the controls and getting used to making ultra-quick decisions, but as play progresses, the environments take on amazing complexity.  Parts of the ground itself will move, deadly vines creep onto the screen if Rayman isn’t moving fast enough, and obstacles as well as helpful platforms must be activated and deactivated with a swift kick while in motion.  Enemies themselves must be utilized in such a manner where Rayman must jump on them just right or knock them into a convenient location with a punch or kick.  Breakable barriers pose a threat as well, although sometimes they must remain intact to reach stranded lums.  Deciding which of Rayman’s abilities to use, whether or not to keep running or jump instead, and trying to look ahead as much as possible keep Jungle Run exciting and without a dull moment.

Rayman Jungle Run - Android

Rayman Jungle Run teeters on the edge of being a perfect iOS/Android game, but it does have a couple of flaws.  During some stages where the environment undergoes intense transformation, the game is prone to slowing down for a few seconds.  It doesn’t hinder gameplay too much, but it is a slight annoyance.

Rayman Jungle Run - Android


The controls are simultaneously elegant and frustrating.  I’m not sure if any improvement is possible considering the medium, but I did find it getting in the way more than I’d like.  When the game begins, all Rayman can do is jump which is done by tapping anywhere on the screen.  Once he “learns” how to attack, the appropriate button is placed in the lower right of the screen.  Considering how most people will hold their device, this new button is now (probably) squarely in the spot you were using for jump.  The readjustment isn’t too difficult, and if you’re like me you’ll probably attempt to condition yourself to tap just above the attack “button” for jumping.  Nailing the slight shift isn’t the hard part; the hard part is making sure you press the right area of the screen.  Without discrete buttons to provide tactile feedback, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially during frantic spells of alternating between hitting and jumping.

Rayman Jungle Run - Android

Rayman Jungle Run - AndroidThe graphics in Rayman Jungle Run are indistinguishable from those of Origins.  Vibrant colors and lively visuals fill the screen.  Graphics are exceptionally clean and crisp as one would expect from Rayman, and the animations take on a whimsical but detailed tone that’s hard to find elsewhere.  Different techniques such as rain, snow, and “shadow worlds” are used to great effect.  We don’t quite have the expansive color palettes and subtle gradations that define Legendsbut it’s a great looking game nonetheless.  The music also takes on a silly but competent vibe, full of interesting sound effects instantly recognizable as “Rayman music.”

Rayman Jungle Run - Android

Strive for this.

I’ve had a difficult time putting this game down for the past week and it only gets more interesting as I work my way through the final levels. Jungle Run is well worth the $2.99 purchase price in the Google Play store.  Fans of Rayman, particularly the most recent installments Origins and Legends will fall in love instantly.  Those less familiar with the eclectic hero should still give this one a shot.  With a low learning curve, high replay value (gathering lums and completing stages faster), and inventive gameplay, gamers of all sorts will find something to enjoy.  Gaming on mobile platforms may not ever reach the depth and complexity of console gaming, but Rayman Jungle Run is proof that simple but effective games can be developed for these devices without sacrificing integrity or artistry.  The sequel, Rayman Fiesta Runis waiting for me when I finish!

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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  1. Pingback: Rayman Fiesta Run - Android - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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