Rayman Jungle Run [$2.99] is now my favorite iOS auto-runner. Granted, I wasn't the biggest fan of the genre, especially those with procedural, unending levels. Luckily, Rayman Jungle Run offers 40 distinct levels that require players to jump, hair-copter float, wall run, and punch or kick their way to the goal.

Each of these four overarching worlds tacks on an ability, and three of these worlds play out with tap-anywhere controls. However, the punch mechanic, used only in the final world, is relegated to a virtual button on the lower right.

Getting to the 40 goals is the easy part and adds up to less than an hour of pure gameplay. Getting 100 Lums per level, though, requires hours of practice. Each perfect level earns players a red gem-tooth, and five teeth unlock one crazy-hard race per chapter.

No Lums are in these Land of the Dead levels; it's all about reaching the end for the final tooth and getting the fastest time to place on the leaderboard. Speaking of leaderboards, none of the other stages are timed for online racing, which almost seems like a missed opportunity.

Other than meeting achievement goals, going for 100 Lums in stages unlocks an image gallery full of characters from Rayman Origins. This feels rather bittersweet, as seeing the characters creates nostalgia but serves to remind players what's missing from the Origins universe. How would this auto-runner incorporate bosses? I don't know, but I think the brilliant minds behind Rayman could have found an innovative way.

A few extra music tracks also wouldn't hurt, as they played randomly and grew a little stale after the first hour of playing. These tracks are probably enough for casual plays, but not for those who play over and over to perfect every level. That said, the overall lack of new assets made more sense when I realized Pix'n Love Rush creator Pastagames actually developed Rayman Jungle Run and not the original Ubisoft team.

Fanboy-like complaints aside, Rayman Jungle Run is the most thrilling, gorgeous, charming, and responsive auto-runner I've ever experienced. The stages whip and zip like a rollercoaster set at a perfect speed, which allowed me to take in each colorful character and background.

Each level, while less than a minute long, felt large. In whatever direction Rayman was running, jumping, or floating, I felt like I was exploring nearly every inch.

I don't believe collecting all 3,600 Lums in one play without dying is reasonable replayability, but I will happily pay for more levels to explore. Sadly, the title screen lacks a DLC button to hint of any forthcoming content.

For people who've never experienced Rayman or those who have strayed from the series, this is an excellent (re)introduction. For those who've played Origins, this may feel a bit mechanically and aesthetically familiar. In the case of Rayman Jungle Run, familiarity isn't a bad thing, especially when it stems from creator Michel Ancel.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • FilipAGuy

    Great game !!! I love it. I hope they will add more levels in future.

  • dekrock69

    Awesome title and very polished for an iOS sweet.

  • IpadGamer

    Man, I'd love to pick this up but I'm just not much of an auto-runner fan.  Rayman Origins is great due to the going forward/backward/exploring component of it.  Tapping the screen at just the right time over and over again just isn't as enticing...but maybe that's just me.

    • jar0d

      I was thinking the same but I will give it a try.

    • MidianGTX

      The levels in Origins where you chase the chest is pretty much the same thing you're getting here. If you enjoyed those, you'll enjoy this. I thought they were badass.

      • JesusBro

        me too!
        i love chasing the chest in the console version
        i hope they add those levels in this ios version :3

      • IpadGamer

         Well, I did enjoy Beat Sneak Bandit (that's not true, I loved BSB!)...so you've talked me into it.  $2.99 well spent!

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.marroquin.106 Aaron Marroquin

    Oh man the art in this game looks amazing. I played the ps3 version of the game and it was some of the best art I have ever seen on a console game.

    I am glad they went the auto-runner route...the fewer the buttons the better on iOS. That's my opinion at least.

  • JesusBro

    I have the xbox 360 version of rayman origins and this version is totally worth every penny
    even thought its not the actuall console version I say you all should get this game
    you won't regret it

  • Zachery Inri

    I love it, really captures the essence of timing / platforming of Rayman Origins. AWESOME!!!

  • Matthew Rossman

    Yeah I LOVE this game but they REALLY need to add more audio tracks. Seriously, there's only 3 right now, only 2 of which actually fit the fast-paced mood.

  • Dahaka_101

    I'm just going to say it. Rayman jungle run.... BEST IOS GAME EVER!

  • 1Fcm

    I love this game. It truly sets a new standard for platformers on iOS. The levels are just the right length and while the trial and error aspect can get a bit repetitive, it loads so quickly that I don't even care. It's silky smooth and absolutely beautiful! This is how you create a game and take advantage of what touch based iOS gaming offers. Definitely not a shoehorned port.

  • regkilla

    Why not just give it 5 stars? I have seen weak games get rated 5 stars.

  • http://jamesgecko.com/ James

    Punching is only available in a quarter of the levels? It was pretty integral to speed running levels in Origins. If you punched in the air you would loose speed (but have a larger attack radius and get more hang time), but if you punched while running on the ground you'd have a smaller attack radius and boost up to maximum speed. It was a nice risk/reward timing system.

  • http://www.gamerchica.com/ GamerChica

    Rayman Jungle Run was a pleasant surprise and well worth the money. So glad they did not ruin the game with IAP.  Few games are able to be great games when IAP are shoved down your throat.  The artwork is amazing in this game. My only little gripe is that I wish you could change directions in the game to go back for stuff. Overall stellar game! Great review John!

  • hamstertoast

    I love this game so much. <3 iOS gaming is great.

  • Kax Merioles

    This is a very interesting game even before it went mobile. The graphics are easy on the eyes too!

  • http://www.fri-v.com/ Friv

    I love this game. Great !!!

Rayman Jungle Run Reviewed by John Polson on . Rating: 4.5