When Apple chose Rayman Jungle Run as iOS Game of the Year of 2012, it was one of the few times I was in total agreement with them. Having played the console Rayman: Origins with my friends until our eyes bled, I was already a fan. What drew me into Origins were the unique world, crisp art style, and bizarre music, alongside the great platforming and a cooperative design that kept you from destroying your friendships while playing. I’ve not played Rayman Legends yet, but with all that under their belt Ubisoft and Ubi-art created quite the name to live up to with their follow up game and sequel, Rayman Fiesta Run. Luckily for them, they succeeded.
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The first thing you’ll notice about Fiesta Run is that it’s structured to be less like a mobile game and emulate the console’s level progression. Instead of a rigid level to level system with new elements being introduced when the designer chooses, it’s much more open. As you collect lums in each level, the winding pathway will continue to light up, and new areas of the map will be introduced. If you collect all one hundred lums on a level, you’ll unlock a challenge level, with over 70 levels total.
Powers, like attacking or hovering, aren’t mapped to a specific level, but rather a certain node along the world map path. Once you unlock them, you can use them in any level. Other nodes include random gifts of lums, gallery artwork unlocks, and other characters. All of Rayman’s gang is here, from the oafish and hilarious Globox to the massive schnoz wielding Green Teensy, and all your other favorite skins of said characters. These all cost lums, of course. You can also spend lums on extra hearts and other power-ups at the start of each run, with extra lums available as in-app purchases, but the game throws so many at you anyway just for playing, they’re totally unnecessary, so don’t fret.
The level design is much more varied this time around, with the inclusion of swimming and levels in which you play as shrunken down Rayman and company. This is especially true in the challenge levels, which bring out fun gimmicks, like completely silhouetted levels where it’s harder to make out exactly what is hazardous to your health. Everything is generally more chaotic, with moving platforms and even moving lums. In the end, it all comes down to memorizing the layouts and patterns, and having that fast reaction time, but it’s much more colorful now.
The impossible to duplicate world and music are all back. Pretty much every level is heavily themed after or heavily features food. The music is in the same style, with high pitched choirs singing you along, though some tracks were surprisingly epic. Apparently there are ads in this game even though it’s paid, but I’ve never seen a single one. I wouldn’t say that Ubisoft has captured that lightning in a bottle that they did with Jungle Run. At the end of the day, this is more of the same, even if there is a lot more variety. But all that means is that it’s the same great platforming and addictive, super replayable level designs as always. Rayman Fiesta Run is available for three dollars at the time of this review. It’s still a party!