hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rayman Jungle Run

Review: Rayman Jungle Run

5:00 PM on 09.22.2012 // Tony Ponce

When did Ubisoft start becoming awesome again? Who would have thought the French studio would be the one to properly reinvigorate the 2D platforming genre, thus beating Nintendo at its own game? That's how I felt when I first played Rayman Origins at last year's E3 and then the Wii U sequel at this year's.

When I saw the trailer for Rayman Jungle Run the other week, I was impressed by how fun and fluid it looked. I thought to myself, "If the limbless wonder was able to do so much good on home consoles, imagine what he could do on mobile devices!"

I'm beyond ecstatic to say that my early impressions were right on the money; Rayman Jungle Run is touchscreen platforming done oh so very, very right.

Rayman Jungle Run (Android, iOS [reviewed])
Developer: Pastagames, Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release: September 19, 2012 (iOS) / September 27, 2012 (Android)
MSRP: $2.99

What is often the biggest shortcoming of any touch-based platformer? The controls, of course. The more virtual buttons a game tries to squeeze on the screen, the more likely the game will fail to register your inputs. Without tactile feedback, it's hard to tell when you're just outside the button's input detection boundary until you tap the screen and nothing happens.

Jungle Run streamlines controls by taking a page out of auto-runners like Canabalt -- Rayman is in constant motion, so all you have to worry about is dodging obstacles. Unlike Canabalt at its ilk, you aren't running along an endless horizontal corridor, gunning for that elusive "high score." This is a true blue platformer with chasms, spikes, enemies, floating platforms, wall jumps, and other hazards.

The game is split into four worlds with 10 stages apiece. Each world introduces a new ability, giving you plenty of time to grow accustomed to a particular mechanic before the next one appears. In the first world, all you have to do is jump. Though there is a jump button in the bottom left corner, you can trigger the action by tapping anywhere on the screen, save for the top corners which are dedicated to the "restart level" and menu commands.

In the second world, you gain the hover ability, executed by holding your finger on the screen once you are airborne, which you can also use to catch air currents to lift you higher. In the third world, you are introduced to wall running, which offers some clever gravity-defying challenges. In the final world, you learn how to punch through wooden barricades and enemies along your path. Punching is mapped to a separate button in the bottom right corner which, unlike the jump button, has to be pressed, but at least it's large enough that you'll never accidentally miss a punch.

Reaching the end of a stage is not all that difficult, but your true goal is to collect Lums, the golden firefly-like critters found in every Rayman game. There are 100 Lums in each level, and finding them all will require you to take more precarious paths, intentionally miss jumps, or discover a hidden doors. By collecting all the Lums in at least five stages in a world, you'll unlock that world's tenth stage, a balls-hard run through the Land of the Livid Dead. Here, there are no Lums, only an increased risk of sudden death. Thankfully, as with all the other levels in the game, these are a minute in length tops, so there's never that sense of lost progress should you want to restart a stage.

The icing on the cake is the art, which has been pulled directly from Rayman Origins. Normally, I would call out a developer for reusing copious amounts of assets, but the graphics from Origins are so colorful, bright, and beautiful that I have no objections about their reappearance here. This is a game you play with a smile plastered across your face, nodding your head along to the cheerful music and detailed animations.

Unfortunately, the game ends full-stop upon completion of the final stage. There is no fanfare, no "congratulations" screen, just a boot back to the main menu. Feels rather abrupt, but I don't know why I was expecting anything else. Jungle Run is just a series of narrative-less challenge levels, but it's so fulfilling that at times you'll become confused into thinking it's something "greater," if that makes any sense. Not really a bad "problem" to have.

That's not to say Jungle Run doesn't offer rewards for the dedicated player. The more Lums you collect, the more wallpaper you earn, which can be saved as the background image on whatever device you are using. It's not much, but how often does a game award prizes outside of the game itself? The challenges are reward enough on their own, so these are but pleasant extras.

Rayman Jungle Run is proof that platformers can work on touch devices if you tailor the them to the strengths of the hardware rather than attempt to recreate a console experience. Had this merely been a watered-down port of Origins, it would have invited direct comparisons and highlighted the flaws of touch-based gameplay. Instead, it's a game with bite-sized levels and sensible controls yet all the action of its console brethren. This is what companion software ought to be.



Rayman Jungle Run - Reviewed by Tony Ponce
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Tony Ponce, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure megaStryke Tips
(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Fuck Insecticons
nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Rayman Jungle Run

  Dec 06

Free Rayman Jungle Run update adds new world

Character pack also available for $0.99

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -