Rayman's latest outing on mobile, Rayman Adventures, is a blending of the more complex console experience and the previous phone-based endless runners. The majority of the tap and swipe interface remains unchanged, but it places more control of movement – both horizontal and vertical – in your hands, which can feel a little cumbersome at first.
But, give it time and you will discover the same solid platforming that fans of the series love.
Turning things around
The mobile series of Rayman endless-runners have always offered a joyous diversion. The fast paced, timing centric games have you leaping, bouncing, and punching your way through their auto-scrolling levels with taps and swipes. Rayman Adventures is a natural evolution of this, keeping the same controls but with more freedom.
Initially, the differences are not obvious. A single swipe sets the titular hero, Barbara the Barbarian, or any other selected character, off in the appropriate direction. Further swipes have them attack, while taps have them spring into the air or bounce off walls to satisfyingly reach far-off platforms. The only twist is that swiping back on the screen has your heroes change direction.
It sounds like a small change at first but it dramatically alters the experience. It removes the speed that made the mobile titles feel unique alongside their console siblings. Greater level freedom also makes attempts last longer - so less well suited to gaming on the go - while the controls needed for this are initially cumbersome.
Reach for the sky
But, though the accuracy and heart-pounding tension is gone, Rayman Adventures does add exploration. This has created extra verticality in the levels in order to tuck away more secrets. You can find yourself leaping upwards through the beautiful world to find a treasure, only to find another tucked away even higher.
To help with this, new characters are on hand and will point your towards items in each level in order to nudge you in the right direction. Other characters different aid - including short periods of invincibility - but this also introduces the game’s in-app purchases. You have to feed these creatures to take them with you each time, and when you are out of food you have to buy more, or grind for it.
While purchases can form a bottleneck to progression, for the most part Rayman Adventures allows you to progress at a good rate. This is fortunate, as the greatest parts of the game is moving through its stunning environments and tapping your foot the truly uplifting music.
Different, but still a ray of sunshine
Rayman Adventures is a different take on the series for mobile, and an odd half step between the open exploration of the console original and the twitch reactions of the endless-runners. While it may not be the most comfortable fit, the component Rayman parts are still good enough to make it a gorgeous looking and fun game.