Everyone loves a fiesta!

I admit that I’m a bit new to the Rayman series, only having played the most recent ones. But once the limbless wonder works his magic on you, it’s hard not to develop an affinity for Michel Ancel’s iconic character. So, when the opportunity arose to take Rayman from the controller to a touchscreen, I was curious.

Rayman Fiesta Run is the follow up to last year’s Rayman Jungle Run and continues in that game’s footsteps, replacing the precision platforming we’ve come to know on consoles with an endless-run dynamic. At first, this worried me greatly, given how tightly Rayman controls on consoles—it’s one of the major reasons I’ve gotten so addicted to his games. After several hours tapping furiously at my iPad, however, I can tell you that the endless-run motif isn’t necessarily better or worse; it’s simply a different way to enjoy Rayman and his world.

In order to get used to this new mechanic, the game strips Rayman of many of his basic moves at the start—all you can do is tap to jump, wall jump, and run. This helps you get into the rhythm you need if you’re going to collect all 100 lums and four Teensies per level. Multiple paths and familiar obstacles to overcome lend even more replayability since the only way to truly beat the game is to collect everything in each level and its twisted “Invaded” counterpart.

Knowing when to tap—and when not to—might sound simple enough, but it’s harder to master than it seems, so it’s great that the game takes it easy early on. But when Rayman starts getting abilities back—like gliding and punching—the difficulty ramps up fast. You must master performing each move in conjunction with multiple taps to ensure that Rayman sails through the world smoothly and collects everything along the way.

Fiesta Run also does a great job of utilizing the phenomenal art and music for which the series is known. Even though the areas are all new, they’ll be familiar enough that fans will appreciate listening to their favorite level music set against recognizable backdrops.

I’m afraid that Fiesta Run isn’t all one big party, though. The game is surprisingly short, even with multiple playthroughs of each level. Seventy-two levels sounds like a lot—and if this were a console Rayman game, it would be—but here you can get through the entire game in only a few hours.

The boss levels also disappoint. Bosses you have to run from are huge and beautifully designed, but they’re never really a threat, since you just keep running. The level layout isn’t really anything different compared to what you’ve played up to that point, either, so the entire concept of a “boss” area is really lost after the level’s brief opening cinematic.

I’m also a bit surprised that the game doesn’t tie back into the console versions. It’s not really a negative, but with so many companies releasing apps with or around a recent release that can unlock costumes or extra items or a minigame when you link them, I’m just surprised I can’t transfer lums from Fiesta Run to Rayman Legends or earn extra trophies or something along those lines. I could use those additional trophies and lums, too, because it’s not easy trying to get to the 11th level of awesomeness or unlock every character in Legends!

Sometimes, though, simple is the way to go—and Rayman Fiesta Run proves that. Its user-friendly control scheme should provide nothing but fun for fans of the franchise, and even if you’re not a huge Rayman devotee, the game’s cheap price tag of $2.99 makes it a worthwhile download if you’re a completionist with a few hours to kill.

Developer: Ubisoft Casablanca • Publisher: Ubisoft • ESRB: N/A • Release Date: 11.7.13
Simple and to the point, Rayman Fiesta Run follows proudly in its predecessors’ footsteps. The endless-run dynamic is a nice change of pace for fans of the franchise—I just wish the party could’ve lasted longer.
The Good Enough challenge and collectibles to compare favorably to its console brethren.
The Bad Short enough to be blown through in only a few hours.
The Ugly Just missing that last lum before crossing the finish line.
Rayman Fiesta Run is available on Google Play, Amazon App Store, and iOS devices. Primary version reviewed was for iOS devices, specifically using an iPad 2.