Rayman Jungle Run is a new iOS release from Ubisoft. Set in the same beautifully-animated 2D aesthetic as console game Rayman Origins and upcoming Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends, the game is available now as a paid Universal download from the App Store.
Rayman Jungle Run is ostensibly an “autorunner” but unlike its numerous rivals such as Canabalt, Temple Run and One Epic Knight, it is not an “endless running” game. Instead, it is split into a number of bite-sized levels, each with a distinctive visual identity, in which the player must collect as many of the series’ iconic “Lums” as possible in order to earn rewards. Successfully collecting all Lums in a level rewards the player with a tooth item, which allows them to access a hidden “Land of the Dead” challenge.
Controls start very simple and gradually become more complex as the game progresses. Rayman runs automatically, and initially the player only has to tap the screen to make him jump. Once the first set of levels have been completed, however, the player unlocks the ability to “float” by tapping the screen again while in mid-jump. Once this set of levels has been completed, the player gains the ability to run up walls, and finally to fight enemies by punching them. Levels are designed in such a way that there is a linear path through them, but carefully-timed jumps, floats and wall runs allow Rayman to access secret areas that carry more Lums to collect. If one of these is missed, however, there’s no turning back.
Rayman Jungle Run is gorgeous to look at, making use of the impressive UbiArt engine that powered Rayman Legends. This means it has a beautifully-animated 2D cartoon aesthetic, where everything is packed with character and moves incredibly smoothly. When combined with the catchy, well-composed music and excellent sound, it adds up to an incredibly slickly-presented package that proves no compromises whatsoever have to be made on presentation when making a mobile game.
Another element that will please longtime mobile gamers is that after the initial $2.99 price of admission, there are no in-app purchases whatsoever, no ads, no “pay to win” and no other nag screens. Social functionality is limited to Game Center leaderboards and achievements — though iOS 6’s additions to Game Center allow for easy bragging about these via email, iMessage/SMS, Twitter and Facebook without the need for explicit, obtrusive nag screens in the app itself. This is an immensely positive move, as it allows gamers who just wish to focus on the game to do so while allowing those who enjoy friendly competition and sharing achievements to do so also — everyone wins.
All in all, Rayman Jungle Run is an exemplary iOS game that should be held up as a shining example to other developers. It combines simple, quick-fire gameplay with immaculate presentation, unobtrusive competitive/social features and an unmistakable sense of respect for the player as a gamer rather than a source of income for the developer. The positive press and public attention the game is getting right now — along with anticipation for the upcoming Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends — will help it to enjoy a strong degree of success, at least in the short-term, and it’s well-deserved.
Rayman Jungle Run is currently ranked at No. 81 in Top Paid Apps, No. 42 in Top Paid iPad Apps, No. 46 in Top Paid Games and No. 23 in Top Paid iPad Games. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social games and developers.