Rayman Fiesta Run review: getting the runs

Rayman has had an awfully good 2013. Following the release of the well-received Rayman Legends, the happy-go-lucky hero has re-emerged on mobile devices with Rayman Fiesta Run, a spicy follow-up to Rayman Jungle Run. Just as Jungle Run was themed on the perils of the lush green forest, Fiesta Run focuses more on hotter environments with a decidedly Latin motif. However, the goal remains the same. Rayman's objective is to run through each level, collecting as many Yellow Lums as possible, in order to proceed through the game's four worlds. The touch controls remain as simple to use as Rayman's last mobile outing. Players tap the left side of the screen in order to jump and gain abilities as they go along, like helicopter gliding and punching. Players will also encounter levels that shake up the formula a bit, including ones that shrink Rayman to microscopic size and occasional boss battles that require quicker reflexes. Fiesta Run's central premise centers around pure speed and fast reaction time, as players must know when to react in order to get through each level safely. It's easy enough in the first few levels, but the difficulty level quickly escalates to challenging (though not unfair) proportions. Survival becomes a hard enough task, but the perfectionist in me was eager to try and finish each stage with all hundred Yellow Lums. Thankfully, there's no penalty for restarting repeatedly, as the game encourages you to aim for your highest score.

Even icier levels show some Latin flavor

Rayman Fiesta Run shines through more than its simplistic controls, but through its art style and immersive environments. The game is beautiful to behold, as the UbiArt Framework continues to pay dividends for the series. It's particularly gorgeous with the newer iPad's Retina Display. Each level mathces the game's Latin-flavored theme, as does the game's background music, though some of it will grow repetitive over time. The game does feature microtransactions, offering up Yellow Lums (tied to progression) for purchase, though the levels prove so quick and easy that they never feel like a necessity. Though Fiesta Run can be finished in a couple of hours, there's enough challenge and replay value to keep re-visiting the world for a good while after the initial quest ends. Auto-runners may be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but Fiesta Run is simple, satisfying, and gorgeous to look at. [7]
This review is based on early iOS code provided by the publisher. Rayman: Fiesta Run is now available on the App Store and Google Play for $2.99.