Last year Rayman made a triumphant return to glory with the stellar 2D platformer, Rayman Origins. This year the limbless creation of Michel Ancel jumped onto mobile platforms with Rayman Jungle Run. Mixing the beautiful art style of Rayman Origins, the simple, side-scrolling design of traditional 2D platformers and the constant movement of Temple Run, Rayman Jungle Run presents a fun and extremely challenging platformer on mobile devices, all for just .99 cents. Most impressive though is that it presents a simple, yet elegant solution to touch gaming.
Be it virtual sticks, mouse emulation or other less logical control decisions, so many of today’s mobile entries attempt to do too much when sometimes doing less can be that much more effective. Rayman Jungle Run’s simple control system of having players only pressing the touchpad when needing to jump, works perfectly. The game delivers a challenge on par with Rayman Origins but uniquely designed for the device it is on. Wonderful in every way, Rayman Jungle Run is a title that anyone with an iOS or Android device and a love for platformers should play
Runner-Up: Final Fantasy Dimensions
It has been a rough few years for the Final Fantasy franchise. After years of being able to do no wrong, Final Fantasy now seems to be able to do nothing right. Despite being regarded as solid titles, Final Fantasy XIII was criticized endlessly by series fans and its sequel XIII-2 did little to quell their agitation at the direction the series was moving. Fans seemingly wanted a return to the good ‘ole days of gaming and Square Enix’s big budget offerings just weren’t doing it for them. Someone must have been listening though because in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of the series, the famed developer released Final Fantasy Dimensions to mobile devices.
While nailing down SquareEnix’s strategy for mobile games is pretty tough, it was clear with Final Fantasy Dimensions that the purpose was to recreate the feel of 16-bit era Final Fantasy’s. And it accomplished it with flying colors. Featuring a fun, if somewhat traditional, story, simple controls that worked wonderfully with the touch screen, and a combat system that brings a smile to my face, Final Fantasy Dimensions is the best Final Fantasy title released in the past decade. Now if only the A team at Square could capture that same magic.