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Rayman Fiesta Run review – Rayman delivers again on Windows Phone and Windows 8

Ubisoft and Pastagames’ Rayman Jungle Run was that perfect one-two punch: an excellent platformer, and a high quality mobile Xbox game. The sequel Rayman Fiesta Run had a lot to live up to, and it almost felt like Ubisoft didn’t want to share it with us. The game soft launched in limited territories, appeared to fully launch worldwide a few weeks later, and then quickly disappeared that same day.

At last, Rayman Fiesta Run is properly available with fully working Xbox Live Achievements on Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and Windows RT. Though we had to wait a painfully long time for Fiesta Run, the wait was worth it. Even if you found Jungle Run too challenging, this one is forgiving (and beautiful) enough that it might just win you over. Read on for our full review.

From Legends to Fiesta

The shrinking levels are new to Fiesta Run and Rayman Legends.

Just as Jungle Run served as the mobile companion game to console hit Rayman Origins, so does Fiesta Run borrow features and assets from Rayman Legends (which recently graced Xbox One).

The core gameplay remains largely unchanged. Rayman and other unlockable characters automatically run forward endlessly, with players making them jump by tapping one side of the screen or punch by tapping the other. Rayman starts out only being able to jump and swim (which is new), but he’ll gain back the power to punch, hover, and wall run after reaching certain levels. Your goal is always to collect as many floating yellow Lums as possible before reaching the end of the level.

The actual game structure has changed for the better, though. Instead of selecting individual levels from separate themed sets, Fiesta Run features one large world map. As Rayman and friends complete levels and collect more Lums, the path along the map fills in, eventually revealing new levels and rewards. Those rewards include concept art (now higher resolution, thankfully), a much larger selection of unlockable characters (though still smaller than Rayman Legends’ impressive assortment), and the occasional free batch of Lums.

Fiesta Run consists of 76 total levels at launch: 36 regular levels, 36 Invasion levels, and four trips to the Land of the Livid Dead. The Invasion levels are tougher remixes of regular levels, with different enemy and item placement, visual changes, and more obstacles (a concept borrowed from Legends). The Land of the Living Dead levels are also aimed at experienced players, just as in Jungle Run. And like before, they’re the only levels to offer leaderboards – a shame that Ubisoft didn’t expand the game’s social and competitive features as they did with Legends.

Lumdog millionaire

The collectible Lums now serve as Fiesta Run’s currency. Outside of gameplay, they can be spent on new characters and concept art. At the beginning of most levels, players can also opt to spend Lums on an assortment of power-ups. These include a red heart that allow our heroes to survive one hit or a gold heart that protect from two, new gloves that allow the protagonists to fire projectile punches at enemies and obstacles; and a guide that shows the optimal path to take during the level. All are priced surprisingly affordably, and none are needed to actually beat a level. They sure help with Invasion levels though!

Because the game gives us things to spend Lums on this time, you can now acquire a lot of them. Each time you complete a level, the Lums collected will be added to your total – another cool element introduced in Rayman Legends. This really adds to the replay value since we now have incentive to beat levels again, even after perfecting them. Impatient players can also opt to buy Lums as an In-App Purchase, but that’s unnecessary since you earn so many while playing.

Beautiful, demanding, and slightly buggy

Jungle Run was always easy on the eyes, and Fiesta Run takes that artistic beauty even further. Besides gorgeous new character art and background themes, Ubisoft and Pastagames have also added 3D platforms into the mix. These don’t appear in every single level, but they add a great sense of depth whenever they show up. Bouncing between background layers whenever you touch a blue mushroom also instils extra depth.

The extra visual flash comes at a price, though: performance. On my Lumia 1520, the frame rate occasionally drops slightly when things get hectic. The frame rate drops a lot more on weaker devices like the Lumia 520, but the game remains playable.

Another little issue I’ve run into happens when my character gets turned around and starts running in the wrong direction. This always results from a mistaken or missed jump, and it nearly always leads to death. I don’t remember getting turned around in Jungle Run; the developers need to improve Fiesta Run’s direction-switching algorithm.

Finally, it often takes multiple presses of the “Return” button to reach the title screen from the world map. Not a huge deal, but annoying nonetheless. This affects both the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions, oddly enough.

Party on Windows 8

Although Fiesta Run is available on both Windows Phone and Windows 8, neither version uses cloud saving. Windows players can’t jump between phone and tablet on the same save file. That’s a shame considering the iOS version does have cloud saves and even shares Lums between Jungle Run and Fiesta Run.

The Windows 8 and RT versions of Fiesta Run are even more susceptible to performance issues than the phone game, presumably due to their use of higher resolution assets. On the original Surface Pro, the frame rate regularly dips below 30 FPS. Luckily, it does run perfectly on my gaming notebook.

One problem unique to the PC and tablet versions of Fiesta Run: no keyboard support! Jungle Run allowed players to jump and attack by pressing the CTRL and Spacebar keys. The only way to perform those actions without a touch screen in Fiesta Run is by clicking the mouse buttons – not the ideal way to play. Neither Fiesta Run nor Jungle Run supports controllers, sadly.

Achievements

The most common complaint about Jungle Run was that a couple of its Achievements were almost impossibly difficult. You had to beat approximately 45 levels in a row without dying in order to unlock the final Achievement, argh.

Ubisoft and Pastagames took user feedback to heart and made Fiesta Run’s Achievements obtainable to normal human beings. You don’t need to perfect every single level in Fiesta Run, nor do you have to beat multiple levels in one attempt. The hardest one here (if you can call it that) is for collecting 20,000 Lums. It might take a little grinding (everyone recommends replaying level 9), but certainly won’t cause undue frustration.

Overall Impression

Fiesta Run is the perfect mobile companion to Rayman Legends. It captures the delightful look and feel of the console game, all while providing unique levels and a game design crafted specifically for playing on the go. It launches with more levels than Jungle Run ever featured, to boot.

Jungle Run’s one obvious flaw has been fixed. Reasonable Achievements and the ability to buy power-ups make it so that less skilled players can fully enjoy the game from start to finish. If you have joy in your heart and/or a love of platformers, Rayman Fiesta Run is a must-buy. Console gamers shouldn’t miss Rayman Legends, either.

QR: Rayman Fiesta Run

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

58 Comments
  • Best game
  • #XBL
  • Finished it,. Got all the achievements..
  • Make it free
  • Why? Why should this game be free? Why are you entitled to a free game? 
  • Agreed. In a market being overrun with 'freemium' games that usually detract from the overall enjoyment of gaming, a gem like Rayman Fiesta Run that costs merely a few dollars for a fantastic experience that doesn't constantly shove IAP and microtransactions down gamers' throats is well worth buying. Thank you Ubisoft. No thank you, aniket03.
  • I didn't hesitate to buy it! We need to support the dev,right.
  • Me neither. Instabuy! If we want the devs to support us, we gotta support them.
  • Same! So Instabuy I managed to snatch it during soft release ;D
  • Get a job. :P
  • Come to my house and do errands for free and I'll let you play it on my 1520.
  • Hahah !
  • Agreed, and also with 1520 , a Surface 2 pro and a lapdance, all for free. Good enough for you or maybe they should pay you for the honour of having such a distinguished personality using their stuff?!
  • Get an Android if you want a bunch of free, ad-filled crap.
  • Give me a free Aston martin.
  • Best phone game ever
  • I like this one better than JR, the PC version should support the 360 controller... All "Xbox" games should support you know, the Xbox controller... Just sayin...
  • Cause i don't earn so i need free games. Like androids we can share apps from one device to other. Even a paid app can be borrowed from others. But not in windows phone. Unlocking is also not that easy for me cause i don't have much technical knowledge.
  • That's poor reasoning. No, you don't need to be able to steal this or any game.
  • What reason u need dude!! I don't earn so i can't spend money on games so i wanted it to be free thats it.
  • If you don't earn money you can't buy things. That's simply the way the world works. Let games like this be an incentive to find a source of income rather than expecting the world to bend over to your needs. =)
  • Nicely said.
  • That's life. You don't work, you don't eat. Why should games be any different? 
  • so cause you don't earn, other people should not deserve to earn for their hard work?
  • And if people don't pay for this game, the people that made it won't "earn" either. Frankly, I'd rather they get paid and keep making good games.
  • Use Bing rewards. It is free and you'll be able to get it free in a couple weeks.
  • Hell I've been using Bing rewards since the beginning and never spent any of the rewards I got like 10,000 reward's points waiting on something good. Maybe a windows 8.1 phone.
  • he might not be in US
  • Alteast add try feature. I love this game alot
  • Best. Game. Ever. All i have to say
  • Downloaded it for both my Surface 2 and Lumia 920. I only experience frame rate issues on my L920 and my Surface 2 has been perfect. Jungle Run ran fine on my Surface 2 as well.
  • This one is really good. I collected all lums with some help ;) Challenge levels were actually challenging and fun.
  • Music and vocal nearly finished me :D
  • I noticed the occaisional lag on the Icon as well, which is kind of crazy considering the hardware, but the game is great regardless!
  • On topic: I hope MS is really working to get games on the WP/W8.x platform properly situated for easy cloud saving across devices.  (Along with purchases/development)  That being said, it looks like a fun game.   Off topic: OMG Paul, Throne Wars GroupMe naaaaaoooooo!!!  haha
  • Oh man, I suck. But I'll find my way there soon!
    As for cloud saves, it seems to be entirely the choice of the developer. Microsoft could require them to add the feature though.
  • Waiting for Red Stripe Deal with Fiesta Run as I did with Jungle Run ^^
  • I imagine it'll take at least 6 months for that to happen. If 6 months of waiting is worth the $1-2 you'll save, by all means go for it. I'm just trying to decide whether to get this for Windows RT or Windows Phone. The better graphics and bigger display on my Surface RT is enticing, but it sounds like it doesn't run as well as the Windows Phone version.
  • I love this game. It occasionally slows down on my Lumia 920, when it reaches a specific area of a specific level, but that's just rare. Otherwise, it runs smoothly. I also find it weird that the rayman starts running in opposite direction, but I think that's good; I can collect any 'just-missed' lums :D
  • I have that exact same case on my 1520 :-)
  • I didn't experience any frame rate issues on my 1520.
  • Love this game even more than jungle run, well worth the couple of quid to download it, infact id prob pay double or more for good quality games like this. Doesn't help when my wee boy is a rayman addict on the 360 though
  • There is keyboard support. Rather than ctrl for punching it is any letter. Space bar is still jump.
  • So I love both raymans, but as a matter of discussion is the map-structure better than the level choosing in rayman jungle run? I became frustrated waiting for the next level by having to watch him run along on the map to a new location.
  • Rayman doesn't move along the map. You select a level and it just launches the level.
  • Right, not actually rayman moving along, but when I finish a level, they animate my "progress" in the map. It hits something which earned me 500 lums etc. It just feels like a break in the game play id like to skip.
  • Oh, I see what you're saying. I actually look forward to seeing the map expand, but it's all a matter of preference I suppose.
  • Waiting for assasins creed pirates.
  • I'm 10,000 lums in, crowned every level, and it won't unlock any more levels. Really dislike what's now a grind to open the remaining levels (was kind of already good at the game having finished Jungle Run and all its achievements) but great game apart from that. Purchasing lums in-game will solve it but making in-game purchases to complete a game I've already paid to play really grinds my gears. In-game purchases should add to gameplay, or make it easier, not help unlock stuff or punish when you're good at the game.
  • You finished the "collect 3600 lums in one run" achievement in Jungle Run!?!? I bow down to you! m( _ _ )m
  • now im scared of buying it for 520 if its going to lag... =(
  • Nah, its not laggy it works fine on my 520.. take the plunge.
  • Alright here we go!!! Lets seee
  • Couldnt edit last post... well the first lvl worked good, guess the lag might appear in advanced lvls, so im loving the way its the world scheme.   Do we get to see how far our friends went? I think i saw that somewhere on the web.  
  • Frame rate drops are infrequent - I might have over-exaggerated them in the review. The only friends feature is a friends-only leaderboard for the four Land of the Livid Dead levels. No overall leaderboard or anything like that.
  • Blehhh they announced exactly this "CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS 
    Share your activities, post your achievements on Facebook, and follow your friends on the world map."    lol guess was something difficult finally? oh well
  • Oh weird! None of that is in the WP and Windows versions.
  • Some of the levels were the same with added obstacles. And this game was easier compared to Jungle Run. And damn those lags. Still a great game though. Had a lot of fun completing the levels.