Oct 17, 2012
So, who would have guessed that Rayman would wind up being the star of one of the best auto-runner games in a while? Yes, Rayman Jungle Run is an absolutely fantastic example of what auto-running platformers can be.
This is not an endless game, but primarily a level-based platformer where Rayman can’t stop, won’t stop running. He must get to the end intact, though he has hearts that he can pick up to protect him from minor damage. Along the way, he’s also trying to collect little firefly-esque creatures called Lums that populate the levels; collecting all 100 in a level collects a jeweled tooth that belongs to a ghastly grim-reaper-esque fellow who unlocks the Land of the Livid Dead, a level in each world that is notable for how extremely difficult it is.
Rayman starts out just with the ability to jump, but later on learns how to use his hair as a propellor to fly through the air, how to run on and along walls, and to punch through walls and enemies. It’s all the main abilities that Rayman is known for. As well, the game is known for its great art, especially in the modern Rayman Origins games, and thankfully Rayman Jungle Run runs on the same engine as those titles, so it looks absolutely spectacular.
While there are often extremely tight timing windows, here’s the thing about Rayman Jungle Run: It rarely if ever feels frustrating. This is thanks to the extremely tight controls that always do what they should. Level design is similarly tight: usually, getting all the items in each level feels like something that’s ‘supposed’ to happen when playing the right way. There’s a great variety of levels; only introducing new elements over time was a great choice, and keeps the game feeling fresh, though I got used to jumping by tapping on the right side of the screen; when punching was introduced I was thrown off for a short bit but it didn’t take long to adjust.
Rayman Jungle Run was developed by Pastagames, creators of Pix’n Love Rush, another fantastic auto-runner game, and this shows just how great they are at the genre. This is a must-play for platforming fans.