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‘Rayman Fiesta Run’ for iOS and Android game review

Last year’s Rayman Jungle Run was an absolute riot. It has pretty much everything you could ask for: Terrific gameplay, great visuals, superb music and simple controls.

Naturally with such a big hit on its hands, Ubisoft decided to follow it up with a sequel. The new Rayman Fiesta Run brings essentially the same gameplay in dozens of brand new levels with updated visuals and characters. Let’s see how it fares compared to its predecessor.

Title
Rayman Fiesta Run
Developer
Ubisoft
Platform
iOS
Android
Release Date

November 7, 2013
November 8, 2013
Content rating

4+
Everyone
Size
88.1MB
103MB (Downloads additional data)
Price
$2.99

Gameplay

The gameplay in Fiesta Run is identical to that in Jungle Run. It’s still a 3D side-scrolling game, where the character runs automatically and all you can do is jump. Over time you unlock other abilities such as punch, glide and wall run but they come with a corresponding change in level design that necessitate their use so they don’t give you any real advantage.

Removing any kind of movement controls takes care of one of the major bugbear of touchscreen devices, virtual joystick. Not only does it simplify controls tremendously, it also adds a nice twist to the gameplay. (One nice change is the ability to swap controls for jump and punch around, something I pointed out was required in the Jungle Run review.)

As with Jungle Run, you can’t make the character stop, change speed or direction in Fiesta Run. The character keeps running straight and will automatically turn around when the level demands it. You can try to bounce off a wall sometimes to go back a little but often this doesn’t work all that well, which can be a bit frustrating if that one lum is just out of reach and you have to restart the level to get it.

Speaking of lums, you still have to collect 100 of them in each level. The more you collect, the more Teensies you get. You can get up to four Teensies for each level (one for every 25 Lums you collect) and the more Teensies you get the further you can progress in the game by unlocking new levels.

Getting all the Lums in each level also unlocks a special Invasion version of that level, which is a lot more difficult with a different look and a lot more obstacles thrown in to make your life hell. Here as well you have 100 Lums and four Teensies to collect, which is easier said than done.

Jungle Run was a difficult game and that continues with Fiesta Run as well. Even the standard, non-Invasion levels can be frustratingly difficult at times, but only if like me you are hell-bent on getting each and every Lum in every level. You eventually lose count of the number of times you hit the restart button on the level because you missed a Lum or a critical jump.

There is a lot of trial and error involved here, just like with the previous game. In fact, most of the levels seem to be designed in a way that makes it impossible to complete them at first attempt without something or the other jumping at you at the last moment and killing you, something which you could never see coming, and then making you restart the level. Even if you have razor-sharp reflexes, there is no way you can avoid some of the obstacles the game throws at you without prior knowledge of their existence, making repeated plays a necessity.

This makes you feel as if the game is eking more play time out of you by making you play the same level again and again, and not in a very fair way. This was noticeable in Jungle Run and is even more evident in Fiesta Run.

The level system has been redesigned. Jungle Run had four major categories, each unlocking a new ability (jump, punch, glide and wall run) with ten levels and a bonus, super difficult Land of the Livid Dead level in the end in each. Fiesta Run has a map system similar to Rayman Origins and Legends and you can see new levels unlocking on a map as you collect more Teensies. The Land of the Livid Dead levels are back in Fiesta Run, but are only available towards the very end of the game after you’ve finished most of the other levels. There are over 75 levels in Fiesta Run, lot more than Jungle Run, including the additional levels the latter received over time.

Ubisoft mentions some new abilities in this game, including swimming, gliding and ability to shrink. None of these are a big deal, honestly. Swimming is the only thing worthwhile here and there a few levels that use this ability. Gliding happens automatically when you’re on a downward slope and you barely notice it happening. As for shrinking, this happens in some levels right at the beginning and in no way is controlled by the player. You play the entire level as a tiny Rayman, which honestly doesn’t affect gameplay much.

The Lums you collect in this game are actually put to some use. You can use them as currency to unlock game art in the gallery, as well as new characters that you can use instead of Rayman to play the game. In the previous game the former unlocked as you completed levels and the latter was an IAP. You get 500 additional Lums for connecting the game with your Facebook account and on iOS a few thousand more are given if the game detects you’ve purchased Jungle Run in the past.

Another change is that you can now purchase powers before a level begins, such as temporary shield or a new power where you can literally throw punches. The former is useful but you never really feel the need to purchase the latter as the levels where it is required it is provided to you anyway and it’s a waste of Lums in every other level.

Graphics and Sound

Visually, Rayman Jungle Run was a stunner and looked especially gorgeous on a high resolution IPS or AMOLED panel. The wacky artwork, possibly the creation of some mad genius, is absolutely wonderful in its quirkiness and is what makes Rayman games so much fun.

Now it’s back in all its quirky glory on Fiesta Run and looks just as amazing. Having said that, even though Ubisoft claims updated visuals with improved depth of field, Fiesta Run doesn’t look noticeably better than Jungle Run. This is fine for a game that comes just a year later, and it is made up for it by having some new character designs that weren’t in the previous one.

In terms of sound, I feel Fiesta Run takes a step back from Jungle Run. Jungle Run had a handful of audio tracks but they were all superb. Fiesta Run offers a lot more in comparison but none of them particularly stick with you the way Jungle Run music did. It’s not bad by any yard stick, just that it lacks the emotional impact of its predecessor. The sound effects, however, are top-notch and the quirkiness of the character visuals continues in the sound they make.

Performance

I tried the game on both, iOS as well as Android. On iOS, I used the iPad mini and the game ran perfectly with no issues whatsoever. On Android, the game again ran perfectly on the Galaxy S III (I9300) but refused to install on the HTC One dual SIM due to compatibility issues.

There are numerous complaints on the Play Store regarding the game not working on some devices and working very badly on others. I’d suggest you check the reviews for your device before purchasing the game. Some of the issues could be fixed later through updates, so it’s best to wait till then to get the game.

Verdict

Following something like Jungle Run was never going to be easy but Rayman Fiesta Run does an admirable job. Is it better than its predecessor? I don’t think so. Is the gameplay still challenging at best and frustrating at worst? Yep. Is it still a great game? Very much so. Although Fiesta Run doesn’t exceed the precedent set by Jungle Run, it is still a great game on its own and absolutely worth buying, especially if you enjoyed the original.

Rating: 8.5/10 (iOS) • 7/10 (Android)
Pros: Challenging gameplay, superb visuals, plenty of levels
Cons: Gameplay relies a lot on trial and error, technical issues on Android

Download: iOS | Android

Rayman Fiesta Run was reviewed on an iPad mini and Galaxy S III.

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